DTM concludes final pre-season test at Lausitzring

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The DTM series conducted its final pre-season test at the Brandenburg circuit, located between Berlin and Dresden in Germany, last week.

Across the four-day session, all 18 DTM drivers from the series’ three manufacturer brands, Aston Martin, Audi and BMW, drove a total of 3,921 laps.

Audi finished the test with the fastest overall lap-time with Robin Frijns’ 1min 35.169s and was represented by nine cars: the test car from Audi Sport, two chassis apiece for the Abt Sportsline, Rosberg and Phoenix teams, and a sole Audi RS5 DTM for new customer operation WRT.

BMW finished the test with the sixth-fastest overall time, a 1min 35.884s for Joel Eriksson, running three BMW M4 DTM chassis for its six factory drivers.

Official Aston Martin team R-Motorsport ran two Aston Martin Vantage DTMs for its four drivers, setting a ninth-fastest time of 1min 36.345s with Jake Dennis behind the wheel.

Frijns’ best time of the week was more than two seconds faster than last year’s quickest qualifying lap indicating the potency of the new-for-2019 four-cylinder turbo-charged engines. The new units produce around 100hp more than last season’s naturally aspirated V8s, with a predicted output of around 610bhp. With a 45kg lowering of the minimum weight (down to 986kg), fans can look forward to the fastest DTM ever in 2019.

Team chiefs were satisfied after the four-day program, head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass said, “We’re generally very content and we’ve learned a lot. Obviously, the results should not be overrated. Experience has shown that no-one puts all their cards on the table in pre-season testing. Even so, it’s nice to see all your cars at the top of the time sheets.

“Due to the modified cars and the new turbo engines we had slightly more work than we normally do before a season, but we can still be happy on the whole. We’ll only know at Hockenheim where we truly stand.”

BMW Motorsport director Jens Marquardt said, “So much of these 2019 cars is completely new, and we’re gaining experience with every lap we get under our belts. The first two days didn’t go exactly as planned, but the entire team – including the drivers– rallied hard and refused to let it unsettle them.

‘We then completed a lot of laps on Wednesday and Thursday, and gained a better understanding of the car as a whole. In that sense, we’ve made big progress.

Dr Florian Kamelger, team principal of R-Motorsport Aston Martin, said, “During the four test days at the Lausitzring, the many long runs amounting to a total of 3,610km provided us with valuable insights for the further development of our Aston Martin Vantage DTM.

“As usual in such tests, we were able to identify and eliminate a few faults. We are very satisfied with the consistency in lap times we have achieved, bearing in mind that weren’t attempting to set fast times.”

The 2019 DTM series starts at Hockenheimring on Saturday May 4.

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