JULY 26, 2017
Berger to rescue embattled racing series
F1 legend Gerhard Berger is tasked with rescuing the embattled German touring car series DTM after this week's shock news.
Mercedes, the reigning F1 champion, has shocked the racing world by announcing it is pulling out of DTM in order to debut in the electric Formula E series from 2019.
"The news hit me like a club," former Ferrari and McLaren driver Berger, the new DTM series boss, told Auto Bild.
It is indeed a big shock for DTM, as the only other manufacturers in the series are Audi and BMW.
"The consequences for the racing series and Audi cannot be predicted now," Audi chief Dieter Gass said.
A DTM spokesman said: "We need to respect Mercedes' decision in a sporting and fair way."
But Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said pulling out of DTM is because "the Zeitgeist is moving in a different direction".
Berger responded: "Mercedes has made its announcement with a long lead time until the end of 2018. This leaves the (governing body) ITR with time to analyse the situation and put forward a viable concept for the future.
"DTM is one of the most important touring car series in the world," he told DPA news agency.