With exactly 59 days before the new DTM racing season begins at the Hockenheimring on April 29, all the key technical areas of new DTM vehicles have been frozen. Therefore, the relevant design drawings, CAD data, descriptions and photographs have been sent for homologation approval to the Deutscher Motor Sport Bund (DMSB). This means development of the Audi A5 that will be used to start the title defense in 2012 has been finalized.
Like its competitors at BMW and Mercedes-Benz, Audi was testing the final version of the new A5 DTM in secret over the past few weeks. "More than ever before, the smallest detail will count this year in the DTM," said Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, head of Audi Motorsport. "Obviously, you want to keep things you’ve worked out over the past few months under wraps for as long as possible."
The new DTM regulations prescribe more shared parts than in the past, imposing greater restrictions on aerodynamics. And while Audi engineers are convinced they have come up with interesting and innovative solutions, the car was covered by camouflage during testing to disguise the prototypes.
However, the game of hide-and-seek is now over and no more changes can be made.
Compared to the first A5 DTM that was unveiled at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA) in September 2011, following the car’s initial homologation, the single-frame radiator grille and air intakes on the sides of the front spoiler have been optimized. The aerodynamics components on the side and rear of the car have also changed since the first sighting.
Audi factory driver Filipe Albuquerque was the first to complete test miles in the A5 DTM with chassis number 003. In terms of weight and aerodynamics, it reflected the (near-) final version: "I expected a lot from it," said the winner of the 2010 Race of Champions. "But I didn’t think the step would be so big. In fast turns, the new A5 DTM handles like a formula car."
The homologation on March 1 was the start for the three Audi factory teams that will now prepare the racecars at Audi Sport in Ingolstadt. Four of the new A5 DTM vehicles can be seen at the official track tests in Valencia (Spain) from March 20-22. And by then they will be sporting the various color schemes of their sponsors.