Audi drivers Nico Müller, René Rast and Mike Rockenfeller left the recent DTM test in Estoril enthusiastic over the new-spec Class 1 Audi RS5 DTM, saying that “speeds that the DTM has never seen before” will be in store in 2019.
The Ingolstadt marque’s car for next season has been fitted with a new two-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine to comply with the regulations which will be shared with the Japanese Super GT series, with the Germans adopting the regulations a tear ahead in 2019.
The new engine requires changes to the cooling, whilst amendments to the series’ aerodynamics rules have contributed to a more aggressive look to the cars.
Drivers also predict that the speeds in the series will be higher than ever before, with the engines contributing a huge 100 horsepower more than the outgoing V8 naturally aspirated units, reaching a total of around 600 horsepower.
“The new DTM car has terrific muscle and momentum,” said Müller. “The turbo engine has awesome thrust.
“We’re going to see speeds that the DTM has never seen before. The power boost is really noticeable. This is going to make even greater demands on us drivers.
“The car also looks really fast when you stand trackside. The sound is fascinating too. I definitely wouldn’t want to swap the turbo for the old V8 aspirated engine again.”
“As a race driver, you always welcome more power,” added Rast. “The new car feels like a go-kart and is huge fun.”
On the aerodynamic front the new cars will feature changes to the rear wing, underfloor and the front and rear diffusor.
Project Leader Andreas Roos says that the first test has gone well: “Obviously, we still have a lot of work to do at this early stage, but the tests were positive.
“The fact that a new race car works so well right on day one can’t be taken for granted. Everyone in our DTM squad can be very proud of this.”
Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass explained that the tests saw the fruition of what the manufacturers had been trying to achieve with the new DTM regulations.
“We’re pleased to see that the first impressions of our drivers confirm exactly what we were aiming to achieve with the new DTM race cars,” said Gass. “The cars are faster, more challenging to drive, look more dynamic and sound really good.
“The DTM is at the beginning of an exciting era. Even at this point, I can hardly wait to see the new cars in a race for the first time.
“The improvement of the power to weight ratio can be seen with the naked eye. With that, we’re taking a clear step toward the ‘ride on a cannon ball’ that Gerhard Berger would like to see.”