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DTM rules for 2016: BMW with a lighter car than Audi and Mercedes

DTM rules for 2016
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E in one month before the start of the new season, the DTM has three made important changes to the sporting regulations. With the aim of creating more balance among the three manufacturers Audi, BMW and Mercedes. And 'to focus even more on the driver,' as the touring car series reports.

BMW M4 DTM 7.5 kilograms lighter

The most significant decision that the DTM Commission met at a meeting on Thursday concerns BMW. The DTM makes two concessions to the Munich team. First, the BMW M4 DTM can unload 7.5 kilograms in weight. This means: The touring car weighs 1,112.5 kilograms at the start of the season in Hockenheim, while the competing products from Mercedes and Audi weigh 1,120 kilograms each.

Second, the DTM allows BMW to widen its rear wing by 50 millimeters. This increases the downforce of the vehicle. The reason for both concessions lies in the fact that 'due to the design, the M4 DTM is lagging behind the competition which, due to the homologation, cannot be compensated for by further technical development,' is the reasoning. In the DTM, further technical development is frozen. Neither Audi nor Mercedes stood sideways. The request for the rule changes came from all manufacturers, and the DTM Commission finally waved him through.

In total, the lower weight and the wider rear wing should give BMW around two-tenths per lap. The manufacturers and those responsible came up with the 0.2 seconds after extensive simulation calculations. All races of the past season were calculated with reference to all variables, such as different routes, strategies or performance weights. The bare figures revealed that BMW lags the competition by two tenths of pure speed. That should now change for the sake of balance.

DRS more limited in the race

Another rule change concerns also the weight. In 2016, the performance weights will be determined in qualifying and not, as before, based on the result of the previous race. In other words: only for the race are the cars loaded with a maximum of 20 kilograms or a maximum of 15 kilograms removed. Qualifying itself will be contested with identical weights (except for the BMW).

The DTM hopes to bring the cars to a similar level of performance for the race. Especially in 2015 there wasPlenty of criticism of the performance weights, as they helped the beneficiary manufacturer massively from the beginning of the weekend, and this also resulted in loose multiple victories for a brand. For example at BMW in Zandvoort, which took the first seven places in the first race with seven vehicles and took the first five positions in the second.

The DTM is also regulating the use of DRS anew. The driver behind may continue to activate the folding wing if he is less than a second behind the person in front of him when crossing the finish line. However, the number of DRS activations for the race is limited. In 2015, the drivers were allowed to flatten the wing three times per cycle by 18 degrees if they were in the DRS window. It will stay that way this year too. However, in 2015 the drivers could theoretically benefit from DRS in every lap as soon as it was approved by the race management. It changes.

From now on, the pilots will have DRS available for a maximum of half of the race. There is a rule of thumb: number of racing laps x 3 (DRS per lap) divided by 2. An example: If a race goes over 40 laps, the driver can use DRS 60 times (40 x 3/2) in the best case.

Canceling DRS activations is useless. As soon as the pilot operates the folding wing once per lap, three activations are deducted from his account. So he would be stupid not to call up his full contingent per round. The aim of the new rule is to use DRS more as an overtaking tool than to improve lap times.


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