Details are limited on the new race car as Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz have all been testing in top-secret conditions for the past several weeks. Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich said, “More than ever before, even the minutest detail will count this year in DTM. Obviously you want to keep the things you’ve worked out over the past few months under wraps for as long as possible.”
So far, we do know that Audi has submitted its relevant design drawings, CAD data, descriptions and photographs to Deuscher Motor Sport Bund (DMSB), all of which have been approved for homologation yesterday, March 1.
For the new DTM racing season, regulations have imposed further restrictions on aerodynamics to shake up the playing field. Despite the rule changes, Audi has consistently come out as the trendsetter in racing innovations for the past couple of years. No doubt, the Audi engineers still believe they’ve delivered some interesting ideas into their new A5 race car.
As of now, a released image of a camouflaged A5 DTM have effectively disguised new aero elements but some changes can still be identified. LED daytime running lights from a production A5, a single-frame radiator grill, air intakes, and the canards on the side dominate the front end. Heat extracting vents can also be seen on the hood. If squinting hard enough, one would notice the complex aero management across the lower third of the vehicle flanks. Finally, the rear section shows a tall swan-neck spoiler as well as a massive diffuser stretching out.
According to Audi factory driver Filipe Albuquerque, the new changes resulted to dramatic improvements. “I expected quite a bit of it, but I wouldn’t have thought that the step would be so big. Particularly in fast turns, the new A5 DTM handles like a formula car. Truly fascinating! I think I’d have to readjust quite a bit if I switched back to the old A4 DTM.”
The days that remain before the Hockenheim season opener will be dedicated to fine-tuning the A5 DTM and maximizing its racing potential. Look for it testing at Valencia from March 20 to 22 before the Hockenheimring event on April 29, 2012.