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Dieter Gass pleased with Audi efforts in Monteblanco test

Photo by Audi AG

The recent three-day manufacturer test at Spain’s Monteblanco circuit saw the first look of how the three brands involved in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) are making strides forward, ahead of the sole official ITR test at Hockenheim between the 5th and 8th of April.

Audi Sport’s Head of DTM, Dieter Gass, is hopeful of more success for the Ingolstadt brand this season, after a previous campaign that saw lots of highs, as the RS5 DTM took ten victories. However, with the “schieb ihn raus” incident at Spielberg playing its part in the 2015 season, it saw Audi take no championships back to Neuberg.

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With over 3,200 kilometers covered by both Mattias Ekström and Jamie Green around the 4.43-km track, it was a very productive affair for Audi, with over 400 laps complete on the final day.

“We drove a lot of kilometers without any major issues. We had an extensive test program and completed our homework in Spain to the extent we’d been planning,” explained Gass, with the first two of the three days showing Ekström post the fastest time, before BMW’s Timo Glock was fastest on day three.

He said that the engineers would be determining which information would be most beneficial to all eight drivers, which will be used at the forthcoming ITR test in April.

“At Monteblanco, we intensively worked on the “tool box” that’s available to our teams. It’s about having the right setup options for always being optimally prepared in varying conditions. This is crucial in view of the extreme competitiveness in the DTM.”

He was also quick to point out that the first qualifying sesion at Hockenheim in May will be the first time to gauge the field fully.

“But, as always, lap times in tests aren’t really conclusive. We can’t judge the new Mercedes-Benz after these three days yet either. But that’s what makes the DTM so exciting.”

Gass also gave his thoughts on the “well-balanced field” that will be racing in the DTM this year, with a lot of changes in the team line-ups, as well as a sole rookie in the form of Esteban Ocon replacing the outgoing champion, Pascal Wehrlein.

“Efforts are underway to add more variety and reduce the formation of blocks within the manufacturers’ line-ups.

“The performance weights obviously play a part in this, as well as the DRS (Drag Reduction System) that is to be used more intensively for overtaking than in the past instead of being able to follow a faster car.”




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