Driver skills to be further promoted with 2018 DTM regulations

Driver skills to be further promoted with 2018 DTM regulations

2018 BMW M4 DTM
Photo: BMW Press Club Global

2018 sees a further change for the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters regarding the regulations for the coming season, as new changes have been put into force by the series’ commission for the newly-extended racing calendar. 

It will further put the emphasis on the skill of the driver, with new aerodynamical and mechanical changes to increase the amount of action each race.

Overall downforce has been reduced by approximately thirty percent, as a result of the changes made to the front and rear bumpers, spoilers and removal of the end plates under the doors. This will reduce the drag on the overall profile of the cars, enabling higher top speeds.

The drivers will face a further challenge, as the coil springs used in the suspension will be of a linear construction, which will make the car more unstable under braking, with it being used for the first time at the tests at Vallelunga.

With the calendar also extended to ten race weekends for 2018, all three manufacturers can now change a maximum of two engines without any penalties, as a result of the additional mileage being covered over the two races.

The base weights of the cars have also been lowered, following on from the banning of the controversial performance success weights. All car base weights have been set at a minimum 1031kgs without a driver, and 1115kg with the driver.

The fuel levels allowed in a vehicle either post-qualifying and post-race has now been raised to a minimum of one kilogram, with all cars needing to have a minimum of two kilos if they are unable to return to parc fermé.

Some of the sporting regulations have also been overhauled, including driver-pitlane communications and the Indy-style restart introduced for last year.

Two mechanics can now assist in putting the tyres into the pit lane area ahead of each pit stop, which has been recommended on safety grounds but will not be fully enforced.

Tactics used by the teams using their pit boards will be clamped down on further, as it can only be used by the teams to request a driver to pit, or in the event of an emergency.

All information relayed to the driver via the pits can be done on the pit board itself, but only with any items provided by the DMSB itself.

The Indy-style restarts have also been amended, regarding the restart procedure. The leader of the race at that point will be the pacesetter for the restart to take place, and there is a pre-determined zone where he will be able to accelerate before the green flag waves to resume the race.

Along with Audi Sport’s René Rast and Jamie Green being charged with starting the full development of the 2018 RS5 DTM, two-time champion Marco Wittmann will be there for BMW Motorsport, with rookie Philipp Eng there as reserve.

Wittmann, who will continue to use #11 as his race number, will be racing in a new livery for this season that is based on the Munich manufacturer’s racing colours.

Mercedes-AMG will have three previous champions in Italy for the three-day test, which is currently underway, in the form of Gary Paffett, Paul Di Resta and the returning Pascal Wehrlein, who comes back after a two-year absence, having competed in Formula 1 with Sauber.