New rules to make racing closer than ever

Next year's DTM racing will be closer than ever, according to the man behind the championship's new technical regulations

New rules to make racing closer than ever

Series organisers ITR have tweaked the rulebook so that Mercedes's CLK and Opel's Coupe will now run an identical wheelbase and front and rear overhangs, which should equalise the aerodynamic potential of the cars. In effect, the bottom of both cars, from the undertray to a mark 275mm up the sides, will be identical.

The Abt Audi squad, however, has got the special agreement it has been seeking. It can extend its wheelbase and overhangs, too - despite the fact its TT-R doesn't actually fit the rules in the first place.

"We wanted to get the field closer," said the ITR's technical expert Michael Bernard. "The cars are already very close, especially on the mechanical side, so it is very important that the aerodynamics are equal too. We put an Audi, an Opel and a Mercedes in the wind tunnel and changed everything possible. We came up with a solution which means they are all very similar - as close as we could make them."

Opel and Mercedes will run to a wheelbase of 2700mm, while the Audi will be slightly shorter at 2600mm. Overhangs front and rear will now be set at 900mm, while rear wing and height dimensions have also been set in stone.

In the case of the Abt Audi, the actual shape of the car will have to change to meet the new regulations - another dispensation which has been granted to the Kempten-based privateers.

"We have allowed them to make the rear of the car longer by 200mm," said Bernard. "If they changed to the new wheelbase size with the old cars, the wheels would stick out of the body!"

The bodywork and dimensional regulations are just part of the new regulations, which are all aimed at trimming costs.

Testing will now take place on Friday afternoons. Teams will be given nine sets of tyres for a race weekend, but will have to give back three after testing.

Every car will be fitted with a control Bosch ECU unit, to ease the policing of the black art of electronics.

Each car will be allowed two engines for the season. Last year, teams were able to use one engine for testing and one for racing. Now they will nominate two sealed units, which they can swap only between race weekends. Although not yet decided, the series organisers will probably reserve the right to choose which engine each car starts the season with, and to make each team alternate the engines between rounds.

shares
comments
Ford's trio to renew battle in Germany?
Previous article

Ford's trio to renew battle in Germany?

Next article

Abt yet to finalise Audi TT dispensation

Abt yet to finalise Audi TT dispensation
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