Ekstrom: DTM cars lack excitement of NASCAR and World Rallycross

The current DTM cars are "not healthy" in entertainment terms compared to NASCAR Cup and World Rallycross Championship machinery, says Mattias Ekstrom

Ekstrom: DTM cars lack excitement of NASCAR and World Rallycross

Two-time DTM champion Ekstrom completed a DTM farewell weekend at Hockenheim in a seventh Audi RS5 earlier this month, having left the series to focus on World RX.

He made two NASCAR appearances in 2010 when long-time backer Red Bull had a team in the series.

Ekstrom feels the technical rules in both NASCAR and RX are more conducive to entertainment than the DTM's.

"It's never easy to win, but, frankly and honestly, the [DTM] cars are underpowered, over-downforced, over-tyred," Ekstrom told Autosport.

"Too good tyres, too much aero, too little engine [power].

"I did NASCAR and it's [an] over-engined, under-tyred and under-downforced car and I drove an RX car and it's under-tyred, under-aeroed, over-mechanical or neutral mechanical and overpowered.

"So the [DTM] formula is, I think, not healthy.

"It's still the best man wins but it doesn't create a good show. If you don't create a good show, it is not healthy."

Ekstrom believes that the changes to the DTM package for 2018, including a 30% cut in downforce and simplified suspension, have made little impact.

"For me, it is peanuts difference to last year," he said. "It's a very small difference."

Autosport reviews the DTM season opener

Frijns: Lowered downforce a shame

Fellow Audi DTM driver Robin Frijns described the lowered downforce as a shame because he believes his driving style suits high downforce.

"They say 'yeah the car has lost all this downforce, everybody starts from scratch again'," Frijns told Autosport.

"But for me personally, I always like when the car has a lot of downforce going back to my time in World Series [by Renault] when I jumped in and I was quick straight away [winning the 2012 Formula Renault 3.5 title].

"It suits my driving style, same as Formula 1 [as a reserve driver].

"So for me, it was a bit of a shame that they put 30% downforce away but it is the same [for everybody] in the end."

Frijns has also driven for Audi in various sportscar categories since 2015 and says that his GT3 career proves he has already adapted to low downforce.

"I will not need to adapt again, I just like the feeling with a lot of downforce," he said.

"In the last few years [in GT3] you have little downforce - comparing it between GT and DTM, it is a big step of course - so I adapted my style to GT3 as well.

"I don't think it is going to be an issue, it's just a shame my feeling with downforce will be a little less."

The best result of Frijns' maiden DTM weekend at Hockenheim was 12th in race two following a slow pitstop.

shares
comments
Promoted: DTM gets free-to-air UK TV deal with FreeSports
Previous article

Promoted: DTM gets free-to-air UK TV deal with FreeSports

Next article

Privateer entries now a 'must' for DTM's plans from 2019 - Berger

Privateer entries now a 'must' for DTM's plans from 2019 - Berger
The longest-serving Red Bull driver revealing F1’s true brutality Plus

The longest-serving Red Bull driver revealing F1’s true brutality

His day of days in Formula 1 came at Indianapolis in 2005, a day grand prix racing strives to forget. But Patrick Friesacher, the long-serving Red Bull lieutenant, remains active today driving a two-seater that provides ordinary people with a glimpse of an F1 car’s savage potential, including this writer...

Formula 1
Jun 2, 2022
How the DTM has come back stronger from its Norisring nadir Plus

How the DTM has come back stronger from its Norisring nadir

OPINION: Questionable driving standards and farcical team orders meant the DTM's first season under GT3 regulations ended under a cloud. But the organisation has responded firmly by banning team orders and welcomed new manufacturers, making for an intriguing season ahead as new and returning names prepare for battle

DTM
Mar 30, 2022
The remarkable career of a 'classy' champion who rejected politics Plus

The remarkable career of a 'classy' champion who rejected politics

Over two decades as a factory driver with Audi and BMW, Martin Tomczyk earned the respect of team-mates and rivals as a hard but fair racer. After calling time on his racing career, the 2011 DTM champion sat down with Autosport to look back

GT
Mar 5, 2022
The other Hamilton conqueror seeking career revival Plus

The other Hamilton conqueror seeking career revival

On his rise through the ranks before reaching Formula 1, Lewis Hamilton was usually a cut above the rest. But he never truly asserted himself over a Mercedes-backed fellow Briton who traded single-seaters for touring cars and is now seeking new opportunities after a year largely spent on the sidelines

DTM
Dec 18, 2021
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