DTM rules require drivers to line up for the start and restart of the race in a two-by-two formation, with the starting lights determining when the race can start.
That led to drivers trying to anticipate the starts by going off the line or holding up traffic, leading to what many attributed to chaotic scenes in Saturday’s first race, which saw only 11 cars finish amid numerous crashes after restarts.
Porsche factory driver Laurence Vanthor told Autosport that “70% of the field doesn’t see the light” during race restarts, “so we usually always go apart”.
The start of Sunday’s race, which came after an additional briefing in which the drivers were warned about their behavior, was much cleaner: Sheldon van der Linde said the series was clear in its expectations moving forward.
But many still believe that more can be done going forward, as teams and drivers have asked the DTM to place more lights on the pit wall to improve their visibility.
Autosport understands that the DTM has no plans to introduce relay lights at this stage, while series organizer ITR is confident that the start of the second race demonstrates the possibility of clean starts without them.
But championship leader Mirco Bartolotti, who qualified and finished second on Sunday, told Autosport’s German-language sister publication Motorsport-Total: “The most important thing is that everyone sees the light.
“You have to find a solution so that everyone in the field has a fair chance to know when it’s green.
“There is no doubt that a close formation is better, but we definitely need to see the light.
“If you’re on the top of the table, it doesn’t matter. When you’re behind, it’s a really big problem.”
Chaotic start of the first race at Norisring
The DTM has a summer break before the next round at the Nürburgring on August 27-28, and Grasser Lamborghini driver Bartolotti said it was vital to find a solution before then.
“What the solution is, I’m happy to leave it up to the people in charge, but we have to find it,” he added.
Vantour said without repeaters, race starts would remain a “lottery.”
“If they want us to behave professionally, they have to act professionally and come up with a solution so that every driver can see the headlights and it’s not a lottery, which is not fair,” said the Belgian.
“I think it’s a healthy mix between what DTM wants and what they also give us and what we do in return. This is not rocket science.
“It costs money, but you buy 20 lights and put them on the side of the wall to the start-finish and the problem is solved.
“It’s little problems like this that they have to deal with.”