The most talked about topic in the motorsport world right now is Audi's sudden departure from DTM. This has put the future of the championship at risk as now there's only one manufacturer left, BMW.
The implementation of the new Class One racing rules which allow cars to race in DTM and the Japanese SuperGT championship could potentially save DTM. The Japanese have quite a healthy championship going on with Class One (or GT500) entries from Toyota, Nissan, and Honda. Not to mention the big GT300 grid that races alongside them. If only one of those manufacturers decides to race overseas, DTM won't be forced to turn into a BMW Cup series
Is this what a future DTM grid could look like? (minus the Audis)
Another solution for DTM, that doesn't involve overhauling their entire championship, is for an entirely new manufacturer to join. But who could profit off racing in the still highly specific German racing series. And who has the budget to do so?
I can think of one brand that potentially has the time, money, and marketing opportunity for a full-fledged assault in the German racing series. Ford.
The early 90's saw two privately entered Foxbody Mustangs race in DTM
The Ford Mustang in particular would be an excellent choice. There are a few reasons why. First of all there's brand recognition. The GT500 Honda NSX isn't very relatable to its road-going counterpart at all since the road car has a mid-engine V6 whereas the race car has a front-engine 4 cylinder.
Meanwhile, the Mustang does have a 4 cylinder engine available, the EcoBoost. While the race car obviously wont run the exact same engine as the road car, you could still slap an EcoBoost badge on it and nobody would mind.
Then there's the marketing appeal. The EcoBoost Mustang's main market is Europe since the V8 Mustang is prone to massive taxes. Since DTM ventures out to other countries in Europe, the EcoBoost Mustang could get the proper amount of attention it needs. Win on Sunday, sell on Monday is still pretty relevant today.
The virtual GT3 Mustang as imagined by Polyphony Digital for Gran Turismo Sport. Maybe they can create a virtual GT500 Mustang as well.
Next up is the resources. Ford's motorsport efforts around the world are mostly managed and operated by privateers working closely together with the factory.
The Supercars Mustang in Australia was developed by DJR team Penske and Tickford. The Fiesta Rally car is prepared by the British M-Sport racing team. So was the Hoonigan racing Ford Focus raced by Ken Block. The other rallycross Ford, the Fiesta, was built by Olsbergs MSE in Sweden.
The last real race car that was properly built by Ford themselves was the Ford GT GTE which is already retired by now. With the GTE program over Ford should have the right amount of budget and resources available to create an all-new Class One Mustang.
The MARC II V8. Still more GT3 than DTM.
But this is all just wishful thinking on my part. The chances of Ford taking this opportunity are still pretty slim. Especially now all the attention is on the Mustang Mach-E SUV. Furthermore, the rumor and hype train has already set off for the next generation Mustang allegedly coming in 2022.