DTM to cut downforce under its 2017 Class One rules revamp

The next generation of DTM cars will have reduced levels of downforce, when the Class One framework being jointly-developed with Super GT is introduced in 2017

DTM to cut downforce under its 2017 Class One rules revamp

Work between organisers of the two series and their manufacturers continues, with Audi, BMW and Mercedes representatives holding weekly meetings, and then monthly briefings with Honda, Lexus and Nissan.

Both categories already share chassis and aerodynamic DNA, and while the cars will continue to resemble the existing machinery, current work is focused on arriving at reduced levels of downforce to reduce speeds and costs.

"We want to reduce the downforce a little bit because the cars are getting too quick," DTM technical chief Michael Bernard told AUTOSPORT.

"Also we are looking to get the running costs down.

"If you see how the DTM cars are cornering, it's very strange. They are just passing any kind of kerb like it is not there.

"The car is strong enough to resist this for 100 kilometres, but at the end of the race many parts are destroyed, so the running costs at the moment are too high.

"We are looking to get the ride-height up and to find solutions as to how we can get the running costs down."

Having a first version of the technical regulations written by the end of August is the target.

Work on defining the new, two-litre, four-cylinder engines has finished and monocoque work is rated at 90 per cent complete.

"We adapted a lot of solutions from the Japanese, because they already have the four-cylinder, two-litre, in-line engines," Bernard said.

"The German regulations are much more restrictive than the Japanese ones, but the engine engineers decided that this is not a big disadvantage and in terms of cost saving, we will follow the more restrictive regulations.

"The philosophy of the Japanese people is to leave the engineers more freedom, especially in the area of green technology.

"We are not against green technology, but in motorsport if you keep the door open it's getting more and more expensive."

AUTOSPORT SAYS
Mitchell Adam, International editor (@DrMitchellAdam)

As Michael Bernard notes, DTM cars corner in a way unlike any other conventional tin-top, which is good to watch and fast - both part of the spectacle - but a bit unnecessary.

And, as has been discussed ad-nauseam in Formula 1 over the years, too much aerodynamic grip can hurt the quality of the racing.

So trimming downforce back a little bit won't hurt in the DTM, and I'm sure the manufacturers won't mind the cost savings that follow, based on reduced demand on running gear.

At each DTM round, Audi, BMW and Mercedes bring a couple of old cars for passenger rides. BMW had a very cool M1 Procar chassis, from its shortlived 1979 and '80 championship, at the Norisring. It's such a strong, clean-looking car.

'Clean' isn't a word you would apply to current DTM cars, which have more winglets than you could poke a stick at.

Sure, they're intricate pieces of aerodynamics, and no doubt make the cars that little bit faster.

But they aren't cheap to refine, don't really add anything to the product and look a bit clumsy, especially when they're knocked off and sitting on the circuit.

At the risk of being an armchair engineer, in the bid to reduce downforce in the DTM, defining a range of additional winglet-free areas on the cars - ie the front bars - would be a great place to start.

shares
comments
Audi blasts Jamie Green's treatment in Norisring DTM race

Previous article

Audi blasts Jamie Green's treatment in Norisring DTM race

Next article

DTM needs to be included in F1 superlicence system - Coulthard

DTM needs to be included in F1 superlicence system - Coulthard
Load comments
How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions Plus

How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions

OPINION: The scenes at the Norisring as Mercedes used blatant team orders to secure the first DTM title of the new GT3 era totally undermined the credibility of the championship. But as well as overshadowing the season, it also presents uncomfortable questions to series bosses about the direction it is headed in

DTM
Oct 12, 2021
How Audi's new DTM star is channeling Rast to achieve his "childhood dream" Plus

How Audi's new DTM star is channeling Rast to achieve his "childhood dream"

Having learned the ropes in GT3 alongside Rene Rast, Kelvin van der Linde is in line to take up the three-time champion's baton as Audi's new DTM king. From humble origins in South Africa, it's been a remarkable journey so far for the current series leader, but he knows that the 2021 title is a long way from settled just yet

DTM
Sep 18, 2021
The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive Plus

The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive

Switching to GT3 regulations marked a fresh start for the DTM in 2021, but it has also drawn a line in the sand against other series using similar cars by engaging AVL Racing to develop a bespoke Balance of Performance system. Here’s how it works

DTM
Jul 23, 2021
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