DTM introduces F1-style DRS and option tyres to spice up races
|By Jamie O'Leary||Tuesday, April 9th 2013, 12:12 GMT|
A Formula 1-style DRS and option tyres will be used in the DTM this season in a bid to increase on-track overtaking and reintroduce a variety of strategies to races.
Series organiser the ITR confirmed the news following the successful trials of the finalised version of each concept at last month's Barcelona test.
Drivers will be able to use the DRS when they are within two seconds of the car ahead.
Each driver will only be allowed a single use of the DRS per lap, but there will no restriction on which part of the circuit this occurs.
The single-plane rear wing, which flattens by 15 degrees when the system is active, will return to its normal position when a driver begins to brake. Another use will not be allowed until a car starts the following lap.
Christian Schacht, general secretary of German motorsport board the DMSB, which has helped the ITR shape the new rules, said: "The DTM is very innovative and we have a lot of things to do as a result.
"Both DRS and the option tyres have proven to be working well during the tests. Safety is very important for us, so there are technical features included into the DRS to make the wing snap back in order to ensure optimum traction."
Along with the adoption of option Hankooks, which aim to improve lap times by up to a second for the first five laps of a stint, the series has increased the size of the pit window significantly for 2013.
Tyre changes will now only be banned in the first and last three laps of a race.
In two further rule tweaks, teams must nominate the tyres on which each car will start a race shortly after qualifying, while those making the single-lap Q4 shootout for pole will be able to do so on fresh tyres.
Previously all drivers making Q4 were forced to set their lap time on the same rubber on which they ended Q3.
Jamie O'Leary, AUTOSPORT DTM correspondent
The DTM is a show, and a very successful one in Germany if the monumental trackside audiences I witnessed at some venues last year (over 140,000 at the Hockenheim opener) are anything to go by.
And every show needs its star attraction to keep the viewers watching.
In introducing option tyres and binning the pit window, it is doing exactly what's needed to spice things up.
During my first year of covering the series in 2011 I was fascinated by the variety of strategies that teams and drivers employed to make up track position.
That disappeared last year as refuelling was banned and the ability to gain an advantage by running light mid-race (on Hankooks that didn't degrade) against heavier opponents was wiped out.
I have a lot more reservations about DRS.
Scratch that. I just plain don't like it.
Defensive driving used to be an art form in Formula 1, a skill that was nurtured over time. But the advent of DRS killed that stone dead.
There's no merit in blasting past a rival because your car has been artificially made 20mph faster by a gap in its rear wing, and even less in defending against such a move with a definitive swipe across your rival's nose. That's just dangerous.
One of the most dramatic moments of last year's series opener was the sight of Mercedes team-mates Gary Paffett and Jamie Green running doorhandle to doorhandle on the short run between Turns 1 and 2, through the following corner and then all the way down the long back straight to the Spitzkehre.
With DRS, that would never have happened; one would simply have tucked in behind during the corner and blasted by with ease on the straight. Memorable? Hardly.