Audi factory drivers René Rast and Jamie Green had the honour of being the first drivers to test the current version of Audi’s DTM racing car on track. At Autodromo Vallelunga, the two teammates from Audi Sport Team Rosberg reeled off more than 200 laps, covering some 900 kilometres. Both on track and during pit stops, the drivers continuously shared their impressions with the test team: combined with various real-time measurements, an invaluable pool of data.
This is the case all the more, as a lot is new on and in the RS 5 DTM. Or, more precisely: more reduced, such as the aerodynamic components attached to the car’s outer shell. “Basically, all the racing cars now have the same aerodynamics package,” says DTM Project Leader Andreas Roos, putting it in a nutshell. Areas which used to be subject to discretionary design are now specified, eliminating some of the previous freedom for development. Consequently, the RS 5 DTM with more than 500 horsepower generates some 25 per cent less downforce than its predecessor.
“Due to the reduced aerodynamics, you cannot corner with quite as much speed, so having to brake a bit earlier.”
“The further reduction of downforce and the simplified suspension promise an even greater spectacle for the fans this year.”
But less can also be more: fewer components, better racing. A greater focus, once again, is placed on the driving skill of the campaigners. Fans can look forward to races featuring even more variety than before. The reduced downforce also makes for higher top speeds to be achieved, depending on the race track. The 2018 DTM season will show which drivers will have the sensitive driving style that is necessary to maintain speed at the limit even while cornering.
“The cars are now even more challenging to drive than before. For me, personally, this is great fun and the spectators, too, are going to enjoy the races that will surely be more exciting than ever.”
With the further developed championship-winning car Audi Sport will start the 2018 DTM season at the Hockenheimring on 5 and 6 May, so launching its ‘title defence’ project. The final DTM pre-season tests will be held on the Grand Prix circuit from 9 to 12 April.