The 2017 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters season is fast approaching, as the three manufacturers have been hard at work developing their new challengers towards the first round at Hockenheim this coming May.
Out of all three brands, Mercedes-AMG DTM have covered the most distance over the second test that took place at Italy’s Vallelunga circuit, using an ‘interim’ vehicle to get a handle on the new regulations enforced, which includes the new softer tyres provided by Korean manufacturer Hankook.
With a total of 518 laps covered between Robert Wickens, new recruit Edoardo Mortara and team leader Gary Paffett, there is still much work to be done by the Stuttgart outfit ahead of the final ITR test, which takes place at the Baden-Württemberg circuit.
“The team have some very taxing weeks and months behind them, but their hard work has paid off so far with plenty of kilometres posted and data collected during two successful weeks of testing,” said Ulrich Fritz, who admitted that all detailed information gathered will assist in the team’s direction for the 2017 season.
“We posted lots of laps today and tried out many things,” said Mortara, who was the fastest of the trio, who all posted a best lap time around the 1m 27s bracket.
“We now need to analyse the data from Portimão and Vallelunga in order to be well prepared for the final round of testing in Hockenheim. The tests here were very informative, and I think we’ve taken a step in the right direction.”
Paffett was focused towards tyre work on his day in the C63 AMG Coupé, clocking up an impressive 201 laps around the 4.085-km circuit, along with a mixture of short and long runs.
“We did over 200 laps, which is pretty amazing. It was hard work, but we collected lots of useful data,” said the 2005 champion, who was just 0.085 seconds off his Italian teammate on pure one-lap pace.
The efforts towards the final pre-season test at Hockenheim continue at HWA’s heaquarters in Affalterbach, with the Stuttgart brand opting to début their new 2017 challenger at the opening round in just 50 days’ time.