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ART GP complete first Mercedes DTM mileage

Mercedes-Benz DTM testingNew Mercedes-Benz Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) team ART GP completed their first testing mileage with the manufacturer in Portugal this week, running new DTM drivers Lucas Auer and Maximilian Götz.

ART, who have previously competed with success in single-seater racing, had a troubled start to the test. Technical problems with the team’s AMG C-Coupé limited running on the first day of the test, reducing Auer and Götz’s time behind the wheel from a day and a half each to just the one day each.

“There were a few hiccups at the start, but overall, our first DTM test was a thrilling experience for the whole team, from the drivers and mechanics to the engineers,” explained ART Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur. “I want to say a big thank you to HWA for the terrific way they supported us.

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“We’ve worked very hard over the past few months to get to know all the procedures in the DTM and are satisfied with the results of testing at Portimão.

“Max is very experienced with GT cars thanks to his years in the SLS AMG GT3. He was able to give us excellent feedback and drove as if he’d spent years in the DTM.

“Lucas has had more experience with single-seater cars and had to learn the track first, so many things were new to him, but he too steadily improved during the day. We’re on track.”

Both drivers completed more than one hundred laps of running, with Götz explaining that this enabled him to find beneficial set-up changes to the car.

“I’m really pleased to be under way once again,” said the 29-year-old. “My first laps out on track this year were great. Now I can’t wait to get the bit between my teeth.

“I posted more than 100 laps and we tried out a lot of different things on the car. Also, we improved the way we work and communicate as a team. Everything went really well and I was aware of setup changes to the car straightaway, which is especially important where developing confidence in the car is concerned. I’m now looking forward to the next test in Estoril.”

Auer, who has raced previously in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship, echoed his colleagues comments.

“The first day of testing with my new team went well,” said the Austrian. “ART and I improved with every run. We worked on set-up and practised the various routines. Working as a team with the mechanics and engineers was really great.

“Of course, there’s still a lot to learn before the season opener, but being able to cover over 100 laps in a DTM car was a very useful experience.”

The next test for Mercedes in the DTM takes place also in Portugal, at Estoril between the 25th and 27th March, where all three teams (HWA, Mücke Motorsport and ART GP) will be in action.

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