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Audi Sport get testing schedule underway in Portugal

DTM Test Portimao

Just two months remain before the 2015 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) season gets underway with its new racing format over nine weekends, which begins in May at Hockenheim.

However, the next three days will see Audi Sport run two revised RS5 DTMs at the Portimão circuit, based in Portugal’s Algarve region.

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Former champions Mike Rockenfeller and Mattias Ekström will be trying to cover as much mileage as possible for the Ingolstadt brand, who will also have Swiss racer Nico Müller there as a backup driver.

A brief shakedown took place earlier today at the 4.648-km track with the new car that Audi Sport will look to defend their manufacturer’s crown with, as well as trying for the driver and team titles that Marco Wittmann and BMW Team RMG secured with rounds to spare last season.

All three manufacturers will be present for the forthcoming test, before the two final three-day tests will be the last chances for the teams to prepare for the season opener. With the drivers heading to Estoril from the 25th to the 27 of March, before the Oschersleben test happens just three weeks before the first race, a lot of work will have to be done in the limited time frame before the action gets underway.

Rockenfeller, who chose #99 for his race number this year, took the title back in 2013 and finished third overall in the drivers’ standings last year. The Team Phoenix driver is hoping for some promising form to come from the new car, especially when the Portimão circuit provides a stern test for everyone involved.

“I’m curious, because in general Portimão is a fantastic track with a demanding layout and fast corners with high G forces – they make big demands of the driver. Even if the technology in the DTM cars has not changed since last year, Portimão is an important test for us, because of the few test days we have in the DTM,” explained Rockenfeller. “It’s all about improving details, to refine the set-up, to get in as many laps as possible and to learn. I’m looking forward to it.”

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