Preview of the 2016 DTM season

Wilhelm
DTM season 2016 (preview)
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W he'll be eight last season Audi drivers given the best chances by experts. The fact that the Ingolstadt-based company did not win any of the three titles (driver, manufacturer, team) despite ten wins in 18 races in 2015 shows how difficult it is to make a prediction.

Audi and BMW with unchanged driver squad

'The Audi RS5 was undoubtedly the fastest car. On some tracks we simply didn't get the most out of it and we missed points too often,' says Audi DTM Director Dieter Gass, who in consultation with Audi Motorsport Director Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich has not made any changes to the driver line-up.

The same applies to BMW. In the year of the 100th anniversary of the brand with the kidney grille in the radiator grille, the Munich-based company wants to offer fans a good show in its third season with what they believe are eight proven drivers, four experienced teams and the BMW M4. 'The changes underpin the DTM's unique claim that the driver alone is in the foreground. Every driver should have the chance to fight for victories - and the very best should win the title in the end. It is precisely this level of opportunity and density of performance that the DTM will also have in 2016 make up ', believes BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt.

Because the BMW M4 (>>> here you can see all cars ) because of its front-heavy aero balance has a problem, there were concessions. This year the wing is 50 mm wider on BMW vehicles. In addition, the BMW carry around 7.5 kilograms less weight (season opener in Hockenheim). In addition, all cars have diffusers at the front and rear, an underbody with a 30 mm high step in the middle area (skid block) and two permissible areas (one per side) on the front of the vehicle for flicks.

Mercedes has to make the new AMG C63 competitive

Its counterpart, Mercedes-AMG DTM team boss Ulrich Fritz, has to cope with the most difficult task with his team. The aim is not only to replace Pascal Wehrlein (with GP3 champion Esteban Ocon), but above all to make the new Mercedes-AMG C63 competitive. 'The real innovation in our car primarily affects the vehicle design. Therefore, the look has become strongchanged, but we were not allowed to improve anything on the performance-relevant aerodynamic parts under the so-called design line. The challenge for us is to reconcile the aerodynamics of the old with the shape of the new car, 'explains Fritz, who therefore does not speak of an advantage, but of tasks that need to be solved.' The decisive factor will be how we can quickly find the right setup for our car. '

DRS becomes easier to overtake

The Drag Reduction System (DRS), which reduces the air resistance by folding down the rear wing by 18 degrees and thus for more top speed, may be used if the distance to the vehicle in front at the start /finish is no more than one second. So that the vehicle remains stable even in fast corners and when braking, the rear wing automatically folds up when the driver leaves Accelerates, brakes or the lateral G-forces exceed a certain value.

In 2016, the DRS will be released in the second lap (2015: from the fourth). If the safety car is used, it is allowed the drivers b Activate already in the first lap after the restart of the DRS - in 2015 only three laps later. As soon as a pilot activates the DRS during his lap, three activations are canceled. This is also the case if he no longer uses his two remaining activations of this round.

The background to this is that experience shows that a DTM driver needs three DRS activations per lap in order to drive up to and past the man in front of him. To fend off this attempt, however, DRS activation is usually sufficient. In this way, the pursuer would have used up his available DRS activations much faster than the man in front.

In 2016, the use of DRS is even more limited. The number of activations changes depending on the length of the track and the race. At the start in Hockenheim, the drivers have 39 activations available for the 40-minute Saturday race, 57 for the 60-minute Sunday race. The number is calculated as follows: (forecast number of laps x 3) /2=number of DRS usage.

The total minimum weight of a DTM racing car including driver, racing clothing and helmet as well as 15 kilograms of performance weight is 1,120 kilograms for Audi and Mercedes. As mentioned, BMW is allowed to start the season with 7.5 kg less, i.e. 1,112.5 kg, in order to compensate for the performance disadvantage of the M4. The use of the performance weights is determined based on the theoretical best time in qualifying. They consist of uniform ballast blocks made of tungsten with a weight of 2.5 kilograms, which are mounted in the vehicle in the underbody and in the service box.

The racing format remains the same. On Saturday there is a 40-minute run without a pit stop. The main race, which takes place one day later, runs for 60 minutes including a mandatory pit stop.

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