DTM cars break 300km/h barrier for first time in Spa season opener

DTM cars broke the 300km/h barrier for the first time in the series' history in last weekend's season opener at Spa

DTM cars break 300km/h barrier for first time in Spa season opener

WRT Audi rookie Fabio Scherer was the first driver to touch the magic mark in Sunday's second race, hitting 300km/h (or 186mph) on lap 22 of 26, before improving to 302km/h (188mph) on the final tour.

BMW drivers Jonathan Aberdein and Philipp Eng also achieved the same feat in the closing stages of the race, with Eng recording speeds in excess of 300km/h on three different occasions.

PLUS: Does 2000 hold the answers to DTM's current crisis?

"I didn't recognise it at the time but I was informed after the race by my engineer," said Aberdein.

"It was at the end of the Kemmel straight - it was DRS, push-to-pass and also I think two cars in front, so a massive tow, which helped a lot."

Eng added: "The last time I drove over 300km/h in a race car was when I had my F1 test with BMW back in the day [2008].

"It was cool to see the 300km/h. I was actually watching in that lap because I had a massive tow and I was really hoping to hit the 300km/h.

"I saw 297, 298, 299 and then just after 300 I hit the brakes - I didn't overshoot so it was all good.

"It was a cool moment and just another proof of how amazing DTM cars of 2020 are."

The DTM has received a major boost in top speeds since the introduction of Class One rules - jointly developed with Japan's Super GT series - in 2019.

The previous V8-powered cars were capable of crossing 270km/h (168mph) at several circuits, but the new four-cylinder turbo engines that form the core of the Class One platform have pushed up the top speed by 30km/h.

It was expected that the DTM would touch 300km/h in the very first Class One race at Hockenheim last year, but the cars could only record a top speed of 294km/h at the German venue.

The Super GT x DTM Dream Race in November could have offered the series another chance to break that barrier, given the Fuji Speedway features a 1.5km pit straight, but the decision to ban the use of DRS and push-to-pass put paid to that effort.

For 2020, the base power of DTM cars has been reduced from 610bhp to 580bhp, but the push-to-pass bo​ost is now twice as potent at 60bhp, giving a combined power output of 640bhp.

The increase in outright power, along with the advantage of aerodynamic tow on the long Kemmel straight leading up to Les Combes, allowed several drivers to reach the 300km/h mark.

shares
comments
BRDC Rising Star wins first race of new DTM support series

Previous article

BRDC Rising Star wins first race of new DTM support series

Next article

DTM to allow limited number of fans into Assen round

DTM to allow limited number of fans into Assen round
Load comments
The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars Plus

The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars

OPINION: Facing collapse last year, the DTM has shifted its philosophy from a championship for silhouette-based touring cars to GT machines not too dissimilar to those racing across multiple series worldwide. But despite some initial BoP-based teething troubles, there were some pleasant findings as the 'new DTM' got underway at Monza

DTM
Jun 22, 2021
Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM Plus

Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM

The DTM moves into its bold new GT3 era with welcome support from Red Bull, which enters two AF Corse-run Ferraris. That includes one for ex-F1 driver Alex Albon, who’s determined to make a success of his GT switch - but he knows it won't be easy...

DTM
Jun 17, 2021
The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king Plus

The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king

It's taken him a while to emerge as a consistent title challenger, but in the final year of DTM's Class One rule set, Nico Muller has smoothed the rough edges and has double champion stablemate Rene Rast working harder than ever to keep up in the title race

DTM
Oct 13, 2020
How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror Plus

How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror

Opel's fortunes in the DTM had taken a turn for the worst by 2003 - hardly the pedigree that suggested it could take on the toughest 24-hour race of them all. But that's exactly what it did

DTM
Sep 23, 2020
The season that revitalised a sleeping giant Plus

The season that revitalised a sleeping giant

On the 20th anniversary of the resumption of hostilities in the DTM, Autosport revisits a classic season that brought a staple of German motorsport back to life with a bang and set in motion the careers of some notable names

DTM
May 28, 2020
Does 2000 hold the answers to DTM's current crisis? Plus

Does 2000 hold the answers to DTM's current crisis?

It's 20 years since the DTM roared back into life at a packed Hockenheim with a back-to-basics approach as the antidote to its high-tech past. Now it's on its knees again, so is it time to recall the lessons learned in 2000?

DTM
May 28, 2020
The last-chance saloon of Germany's forgotten tin-top champions Plus

The last-chance saloon of Germany's forgotten tin-top champions

The Opel Vectra GTS was the last in the line of the marque's DTM challengers, but failed to hit the lofty heights of its predecessors when financial constraints hit

DTM
May 15, 2020
Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers Plus

Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers

Audi last week announced it would be exiting the DTM at the end of 2020, bringing the curtain down on 20 years of continuous participation since the series' reboot in 2000. Autosport's expert panel ranks its 10 best drivers from the period

DTM
May 5, 2020