Audi has shown off its new RS 5 DTM racers in pre-season testing at Vallelunga in Italy, with the new car sporting the reduced aerodynamic aids which are planned to make the racing more exciting in 2018.
The car will feature around 25 percent less downforce, whilst also sporting simpler suspension than its predecessor.
Head of Audi Motorsport, Dieter Gass, expressed the marque’s support for the changes, which should see more exciting races in the coming season.
“We are in agreement with DTM CEO Gerhard Berger about the future of the DTM,” said Gass. “We do not want to see a never-ending technological arms race and dominance of a single brand, but thrilling, top-caliber races.
“The further reduction of downforce and simplified suspension promise an even greater spectacle for the fans.”
Audi’s new DTM Project Leader, Andreas Roos, explained how the reduction in downforce will do away with intensive aerodynamic development and change the approach to suspension and tyre set-up.
“Basically, all cars now have the same aerodynamics package,” said Roos. “Subject to each manufacturer’s individual design are the transition areas between the aerodynamics components and the bodywork of the respective vehicle.
“The pre-season test at Vallelunga provided us with an initial assessment of where we stand, although the weather conditions on both days were not optimal.”
Audi head into the new season as the defending champions, and reigning champion René Rast shared most of the driving duties in Italy with 16-time race winner Jamie Green, whilst newcomer Robin Frijns also took to the track for some initial laps.
“We felt the reduced downforce even during the first virtual tests in the simulator,” said Rast. “The cars are now even more challenging to drive than before.
“For me, personally, this is great fun and the spectators, too, will enjoy the races that will more than likely be more exciting than ever.”
Loïc Duval, Nico Müller and Mike Rockenfeller will get a chance to sample the new car at the official DTM pre