Audi RS DTMs dominate first DTM test at Budapest

  The DTM’s (Deutschen Tourenwagen Masters) first official ITR Test kicked off at the Hungaroring, Budapest. A total of 11 drivers representing Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz began the 4-day ITR test in their respective RS 5 DTMs, M4 DTMs and AMG C-Coupés. After the first day, the Audis, led by Miguel Molina, topped the time sheets followed by BMWs and Mercedes. The test session was cut short by two hours due to track works, but longer sessions would be implemented for the next two days. (click to enlarge)

Molina in the bright red Audi RS 5 DTM got the quickest time of the day of 1:37.792; the only racer to go under the 1:38-minute barrier. Positions second through fourth were also filled by an RS 5 DTM driver: Jamie Green (quickest in the first stint), Adrien Tambay and reigning DTM Champion Mike Rockenfeller.

Audi RS 5 DTMs dominate Budapest ITR Test

Audi presented the liveries of the four Audi RS5 DTM cars driven by Mattias Ekström, Green, Molina and 2009 DTM Timo Scheider for the first time at Budapest. Ekström drives the RS 5 DTM decked in the colors of partner Red Bull for the 13th year, while Scheider’s black RS 5 DTM is again emblazoned with the logo of Auto Test. The bright red of Molina’s car has remained as well. Green is starting his second season with Audi in a car sporting the conspicuous colors of the new partner Hoffmann Group. Teams Abt Sportsline, Phoenix and Rosberg, and the other Audi teams’ cars, which are currently being prepared, also participated in the first ITR test.

Behind the Audis, there were four BMWs in positions fifth through eighth; with Bruno Spengler the fastest M4 of them all. DTM debutants Maxim Martin and Antonio Felix da Costa and old hand Joey Hand were the drivers after Spengler. Spengler did the most laps (109) or 477.529 kms of anybody, followed by team mate Hand who did 102 laps, Green, 93 laps and Paffett, 73 laps.

BMW also took the opportunity to reveal new designs of the four M4 DTMs of Augusto Farfus, 2013 ‘Rookie of the Year’ Marco Whittman, Martin and da Costa. Farfus continues to drive the refreshed Castrol Edge BMW M4 DTM which he had won 4 races and captured runners up in last season’s championship, while Wittmann continues with the Ice Watch BMW M4 DTM. Newbies Martin and da Costa are allocated the Samsung BMW M4 DTM and Red Bull BMW M4 DTM.

Mercedes drivers struggled somewhat to match its rivals’ pace at the first ITR test, with Paul Di Resta, Paffett and newbie Vitaly Petrov finishing ninth through eleventh places. At the wheel of the Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, returning DTM driver Di Resta ran a quick lap of 1:39.679; a half second better than Paffett. In a related news, ChristianVietoris’ AMG C-Coupe gets a makeover for the new season, with a new Mercedes-Benz Original-Teile livery.

After Budapest, the second ITR test hits Hockenheim, the rehearsal event, from 14 – 17 April.

2014 DTM ITR Test at Budapest first day

1 Miguel Molina Audi 1:37.792
2 Jamie Green Audi 1:38.200
3 Adrien Tambay Audi 1:38.518
4 Mike Rockenfeller Audi 1:38.842
5 Bruno Spengler BMW 1:39.242
6 Maxime Martin BMW 1:39.549
7 Antonio Felix da Costa BMW 1:39.666
8 Joey Hand BMW 1:39.679
9 Paul Di Resta Mercedes 1:40.383
10 Gary Paffett Mercedes 1:40.434