Friday, 2 March 2012
Hide-and-seek game is over: the new Audi A5 DTM
Hide-and-seek game is over:
the new Audi A5 DTM
Eight more weeks to go before the new DTM era starts
Technology largely frozen after homologation on March 1
Preparation of race cars has begun
Ingolstadt, March 2, 2012 – One date in particular influenced the work of the
engineers and technicians at Audi Sport in a major way over the past few months:
the homologation of the new Audi A5 DTM on March 1.
Exactly 59 days before the racing debut at the Hockenheimring on April 29 the rule
now is “rien ne va plus.” As of the electronic transmission of all relevant design
drawings, CAD data, descriptions and photographs to Deutscher Motor Sport Bund
(DMSB) for approval (“homologation”) the key technical areas of the new DTM
vehicles – including aerodynamics – have been frozen. This means that the concept
Audi is using to start the “title defense” project in the 2012 DTM has been finalized.
Like its two competitors, Audi had been testing the final version of the new A5 DTM
in top-secret conditions excluding the general public over the past few weeks. “More
than ever before, even the minutest detail will count this year in the DTM,” says
Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “Obviously, you want to keep the
things you’ve worked out over the past few months under wraps for as long as
The new DTM regulations prescribe more shared parts than in the past and impose
further restrictions on aerodynamics as well. The Audi engineers are convinced
nonetheless that they have come up with interesting and innovative detailed
solutions again in this area in which Audi has consistently been a trendsetter over
the past few years. And these solutions were covered by so-called “bubble wrap”
(camouflage) of the type their colleagues in production pre-development use to
disguise their secret prototypes.
This hide-and-seek game is over now. When comparing the first A5 DTM as it was
unveiled to the world’s public at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA) in
September 2011 with the vehicle that has just been homologated the changes that
have been made are obvious at first glance. The single-frame radiator grille and the
air intakes on the sides of the front spoiler in combination with the characteristic
LED daytime running lights of the production A5 give the A5 DTM an extremely
dynamic look. The three-dimensional aerodynamics components in the lower third
of the vehicle flanks are small works of technological art. And the rear section as
well exhibits innovative ideas.
Audi factory driver Filipe Albuquerque was the first to have the chance of getting an
idea of the overall package. At the end of February, the Portuguese had the honor of
completing the first test kilometers at the wheel of the A5 DTM with chassis
number 003 that both in terms of weight and aerodynamics reflected the (near-)
final version. “I expected quite a bit of it,” said the winner of the 2010 Race of
Champions at which he defeated Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel among
others. “But I wouldn’t have thought that the step would be so big. Particularly in
fast turns the new A5 DTM handles like a formula car. Truly fascinating! I think I’d
have to readjust quite a bit if I switched back to the old A4 DTM …”
The homologation on March 1 also gave the starting signal to the three Audi factory
teams that are now beginning to prepare the race cars at Audi Sport in Ingolstadt.
Four of the new A5 DTM vehicles can be seen at the official track tests in Valencia
(Spain) from March 20 to 22 – then sporting the design of the various sponsoring
partners as well.
Yet the work of the technical staff has by no means come to a halt. The remaining
days before the Hockenheim season opener will primarily be dedicated to finetuning
work and efforts to maximize the potential of A5 DTM in combination with
the new Hankook tires.
Posted by AmigosRacing/MRS GT. at 11:56