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Audi prepared for the new DTM season in a three-day #test on the Portuguese race track at Portimão, covering 1,971 kilometers in total. It was the last #test with an interim car before the world #premiere of the new Audi #rs5dtm that will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show on March 7 – marking the first debut of the DTM car to take place at the same time as that of the new production model.
For Audi’s DTM team, these days are particularly intensive ones. Fine-tuning of the new Audi RS 5 DTM’s aerodynamics and technology can continue until next Tuesday. On March 1, the final design has to be submitted to the motorsport authority, after which no modifications are possible anymore.
Many things in the 2017 DTM will be new: more engine power, less downforce, a more efficient Drag Reduction System (DRS) and softer tires, which may no longer be pre-heated either. All this is intended to make the DTM races even more thrilling and varied for the spectators.
“The tests at Portimão have confirmed that we’re heading in the right direction,” says Head of #audimotorsport Dieter Gass, who was on site to get a personal impression of the current state. “The cars have a throatier sound and are faster. I feel that’s even visible on track. The biggest step, however, are the softer tires. Depending on how they’re used, the differences in lap times can be considerable. There’ll be many different strategic options – which will make things very interesting. The driver will be playing a greater part than before as well.”
Accordingly, the impressions and data gathered for Audi by Mattias Ekström, Loïc Duval, René Rast and Jamie Green on the three #test days at Portimão were highly important. The seasoned campaigners, Ekström (177 DTM races) and Green (139 starts), in winter performed the lion’s share of the #test work for Audi for the 2017 season. For the two DTM newcomers, Duval and Rast, Portimão was about making optimum use of one of the few testing opportunities before the season opens at Hockenheim on May 6/7.
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