New technology hits DTM

The all-new DTM series has received widespread praise after the first round at Hockenheim - it not only provided competitive racing but is also, it seems, pioneering new race technology

New technology hits DTM

All the Mercedes drivers raced with the newly-developed Hand and Neck Safety System (HANS), a carbon fibre bracing system which fits over the driver's shoulders and keeps the neck straight in the event of a collision.

Sunday's race was the first time HANS has been used in Europe, although the device is already being used in Champ cars and will likely be found in Formula 1 next year. Mercedes stalwart Bernd Schneider said: "It's like the first time you wear belts. At first it's uncomfortable, but you get used to it. Now I feel there is something missing if I am not wearing it."

The DTM cars will also use a specially developed rear wing to allow slip-streaming when the series hits the oval track at Lausitzring on 3 September. The new design will be fitted to all three marques, Opel, Mercedes and Audi, as all the cars use a standardised aerodynamic package.

Opel design director Donatus Wichelhaus said: "We have to do something for the show. A new wing would cost money, but would also allow slipstreaming." With 450bhp taking the cars up to 190 mph, there should be no worries about putting on a show.

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