Scot Elkins says he aims to provide more transparency to teams and drivers, as the long-serving official prepares for his first season as DTM race director.
The American, who is best known for his role as race director in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, joined ITR this year as part of its off-season overhaul which includes changes to sporting regulations and the addition of a new technology partner in Al Kamel. Systems that will bring more clarity to the arbitration process.
Having been present during the series’ pre-season testing at Hockenheim earlier this month, Elkins said he already felt comfortable in his new role with the Germany-based championship ahead of the opening of the season this weekend in Portimao.
“This is how we will transfer across the AvD organization in terms of how our business operates. I think it is important to create relationships with the teams and the drivers so that there is mutual respect and that this transparency exists.
“As long as we can create this culture where everyone trusts each other and everyone believes each other, I think that’s really important.
“For me, it’s a very good first step in this first season, to have these very clear definitions for everyone. And with that comes everything that we want in terms of success: good events, good races.
“If we can define that culture of transparency and honesty, I think that will make it really enjoyable and get all of us to think back and say, Man, that was awesome.”
Elkins said it promises to deliver “good, tight and challenging racing” including “more contact” than has been seen previously in the series, which enters its second year with the GT3 formula.
A total of 29 cars are entered for the season, marking considerable growth over last year’s figures.
“I think it’s in terms of overregulation that it’s happening a little more in Europe than in the United States,” Elkins said. “Here we have a bit more of a ‘play it’ attitude.
“I think that may or may not translate to what we are going to do in the DTM.
“I know that everyone involved in the administration of ITR wants to have good races and we certainly don’t want to over-regulate the form where the races suffer.
“So I think the way we’re going to handle this is very similar to how I’ve handled other shows and I don’t know if that ‘chill out’ is quite the right way to frame it, but we definitely will allow for more reasonable contact and a good, good, tight, hard ride.
Team orders, tracking limits addressed
Elkins admitted he was not surprised by the importance of the topic of team orders, after last year’s season finale at Norisring saw Maxi Goetz win the championship after instructions were given by Mercedes-AMG to its other customer teams.
After consultation with the participants and an outcry from the fans, the DTM has threatened with expulsion parties that are proven to issue team or constructor orders this year.
“I think we’ve written the regulations that do exactly what they intended to do, which is to say that they’re formally written into the regulations, which makes everyone aware that we’re aware of what happened and what can potentially happen,” he said.
“So the idea is that we just need to have something in the regulations so that we can send them to the stewards and let them make a decision and it will be a complex decision as always but it now allows the stewards to carry out enquiries. hear, talk to everyone involved and try to get to the bottom of it.
“I think it’s really important that we know there are no outside influences on the event.
“What each driver does on their own, of their own free will, is up to them. If they decide to slow down, they decide to slow down but don’t want these outside influences. That’s really the purpose of the regulations.
Another change for 2022 is a new crackdown on track limits, which will be assisted by the use of video cameras from timing and scoring partner Al Kamel.
After consulting with team bosses at Hockenheim, Elkins said he doesn’t expect it to be a major issue this year.
“[Al Kamel] has an amazing system that uses video cameras for track limits where we can set what the limit is and then adjust as needed,” Elkins explained.
“So if I say I want the wheels to be to the right of the white line, they can set the cameras to do that. So it’s a very, very good system and again, as I said before , it gives us the ability to send data to teams and they can actually see where infractions are happening and adjust from there to reduce them.
“Obviously the biggest problem is going to be in qualifying because we will immediately remove the lap times that a team violates the track limits. But that is part of modern motorsport and we have to deal with it.