With the further developed championship-winning car Audi Sport will start the 2018 season and therefore its “title defense” project at the Hockenheimring on 5 – 6 May.
Audi DTM adapt to new season, new regulations
This year, following the discontinuation of the unpopular performance weights, the drivers in the DTM will take center stage to an even greater extent than before. Previously, in 2017, more powerful engines and softer tires made for more thrilling races. Now aerodynamic downforce of the DTM race cars with more than 500 horsepower has been reduced by about 25 percent compared to last year and the suspensions have been simplified. Per wheel, the regulations now permit only one spring/damper unit. =
Since 2013, at 73 events in the internationally popular touring car series, the Audi RS 5 DTM has clinched 32 victories and 26 pole positions, and posted 42 fastest race laps. In each of the past three years, Audi won the largest number of DTM races with a strong overall package.
The scope for development has been reduced in major ways this year as areas of aerodynamics which used to be subject to discretionary design, such as the area around the wheel well, are now specified for all DTM race cars. Intensive aerodynamics development as in the past no longer exists. The reduction of downforce has a major effect on the suspension setup and handling of the tyres.
Overall, there are fewer setup options for the suspension as well so that Audi had to change its previous philosophy.
2018 DTM technical and sporting regulations
The technical regulations mainly were enhanced regarding the aero packages of the vehicles. At the front, the cars will be equipped on every side with a so-called aero flick. This component is clearly smaller than its predecessor used in 2017. Consequently, the front spoiler was adapted by the engineers. In addition, the side duct was simplified and the end plate in the area below the doors was removed. Furthermore, the add-on parts were reduced. The basic geometry of the rear, however, was maintained. Due to these measures, the downforce of the vehicles was reduced by about a third. Furthermore, the lower drag could result, depending on the circuit – in higher top speeds.
Under the body, only linear coil springs are used. The Vallelunga tests will demonstrate if this change combined with the aerodynamic adaptations will make the cars aerodynamically less stable in the corners, compared to last year.
The sporting regulations for the new season are as follows:
- Reduction of the minimum total weight (driver with his gear and the vehicle) from 1115kg to 1031kg
- Increase Engine contingent
- Mechanic pitstop crew increase one person
- One of the eight pit-crew mechanics had the task to take delivery of the wheels at the dividing line between working lane and fast lane but now, the teams may allocate this task to two mechanics
- Races increase from 9 to 10 race meetings
- Increase pit boards and remaining minimum quantity of fuel. In the future, the pit board only may be used for the request to pit or in the case of a potential emergency situation.
- No car is allowed to step out of formation before having crossed the finish line
- After each qualifying session and race the cars have to have a minimum quantity of one kilogram fuel in their tanks.