Ahead of the 2013 DTM season Audi has rocked up to Geneva with its new weapon of choice, the RS5 DTM. Astute readers will know that DTM regulations prevented any major technical developments during the off-season, so is the move from the A5 badged racecar to the RS5 anything more than a marketing exercise?
There were around 4000 parts that could be scrutinised and optimised within the strict regulations, but has Audi achieved anything meaningful? Naturally, Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, Audi’s motorsport boss, wasn’t giving too much away on that front saying only, â€œOur technicians proved to be quite resourceful in the process.”
In an attempt to justify the new naming regime Ullrich added, â€œThe abbreviation â€˜RSâ€™ stands for the sportiest Audi models. The performance data of the current RS5 and RS5 DTM are very similar. This is why we are of the opinion that both fit perfectly to one another.â€
There will be eight RS5 DTM machines fighting for honours with BMW and Mercedes when the season starts on 5 May at Hockenheim.
World premiere in Geneva: Audi RS5 DTM
- Audi Sport presents race touring car for the 2013 DTM season
- Close links to the sportiest Audi production models
- Leicestershire’s Jamie Green new team-mate of Mattias EkstrÃ¶m
Ingolstadt/Geneva, March 5, 2013 â€“ At the International Motor Show in Geneva, Wolfgang DÃ¼rheimer, Member of the Board for Technical Development of AUDI AG, and Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich on Tuesday afternoon presented the racecar for the DTM 2013 â€“ the Audi RS 5 DTM. The driver line-up for the new DTM season is also fixed.
â€œMotorsport is an integral part of the Audi DNA and is not an end in itself for our company,â€ said Wolfgang DÃ¼rheimer. â€œAt the end of the day, our customers benefit from the victories on the racetracks, because we attach great value to technology transfer between motorsport and production. Our new Audi RS 6 Avant, which we present here in Geneva, is a prime example: it combines downsizing of the engine with significantly less weight. And where do you learn this? In motorsport.â€
The technical specification of the DTM cars was â€˜frozenâ€™ in accordance with the regulations as the checkered flag fell at the last race of the 2012 season. Further development was only possible in extremely limited form. Over the winter, the Audi Sport DTM team concentrated on identifying if any of the 4,000 components in the racecar from the 2012 season offered any potential for optimization. â€œOur technicians proved to be quite resourceful in the process,â€ explains Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich.
The model name Audi RS 5 DTM is new. As a result, Audi establishes a direct reference in the DTM to the companyâ€™s successful production models. â€œThe abbreviation â€˜RSâ€™ stands for the sportiest Audi models,â€ said Dr. Ullrich. â€œThe performance data of the current RS 5 and RS 5 DTM are very similar. This is why we are of the opinion that both fit perfectly to one another.â€
Eight Audi RS 5 DTM join the grid for the 2013 DTM. They are fielded by the three proven Audi Sport squads Abt Sportsline, Phoenix and Rosberg, which have reinforced in part by recruiting additional personnel. The allocation of the eight Audi factory drivers between the teams is now also fixed. Newcomer Jamie Green (Great Britain) is the new team-mate of two-time DTM Champion Mattias EkstrÃ¶m (Sweden) at Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline. The 30-year old is regarded as one of the fastest and best DTM drivers of the modern era. He drove the new Audi RS 5 DTM onto the stage during the presentation. â€œI already feel at home here at Audi and can hardly wait to contest my first DTM race for the four rings,â€ said Jamie, from Broughton Astley near Leicester.
With a combined total of 25 race wins and two championship titles, EkstrÃ¶m and Green form the most successful driver combination in the entire DTM 2013 field. Nine DTM race wins unite the other Audi driver teams which have remained almost identical since the 2012 season: the double DTM Champion Timo Scheider (Germany) and Adrien Tambay (France) compete for Audi Sport Team Abt, Miguel Molina (Spain) and Mike Rockenfeller (Germany) for Audi Sport Team Phoenix, Filipe Albuquerque (Portugal) and Edoardo Mortara (Italy/France) for Audi Sport Team Rosberg.
The new DTM season starts on May 5 at the Hockenheimring. Ten events are on the 2013 agenda, six of them in Germany. On top of these six come races in Austria, Great Britain and the Netherlands and on August 4 the debut event at the Moscow Raceway in Russia. The Audi RS 5 DTM appears in action publically for the first time at the DTM test between April 26 and 29 at Barcelona (Spain) and from 9 to 12 April at Hockenheim, where a grandstand is open for spectators on the first day.