A year ago, the Audi A5 DTM made its racing debut at the season opener last year. Mattias Ekström started from the pole position and immediately took the lead at the start, which he maintained up to the fifth lap before making a braking mistake in turn 2, which caused him to drop behind Jamie Green and shortly afterward behind the subsequent winner Gary Paffett as well. The Swede then concentrated on securing third place. His brand colleagues Mike Rockenfeller (5), Miguel Molina (9) and Filipe Albuquerque (10) scored points as well.
This year, with a seasoned driver squad whose combined tally reflects a total of 478 races, 34 victories and four titles plus an Audi RS 5 DTM that has been optimised in many details, Audi is pulling all the stops for the 2013 DTM season that will kick off on May 5. Technical innovations such as the use of option tyres and a rear wing that can be adjusted by the driver on track make for an additional thrills this year.
The Drag Reduction System (DRS) that makes it possible to flatten the rear wing angle by depressing a button on the steering wheel is designed to make overtaking on the race track easier. The system can deliver a speed advantage of five to ten km/h – with respect to how it will perform in the direct duel with the competition there is still a question mark before the opening race.
The option tyre developed by tyre partner Hankook allows faster times to be driven on a specified number of laps and provides the strategists with an additional tactical tool.
There is a high level of suspense in the Audi Sport squad and Audi Sport Teams Abt Sportsline, Phoenix and Rosberg. After a winter of intensive work and positive track tests in the past few weeks, the mechanics, engineers and drivers are all looking forward to the first real comparison of strengths with BMW and Mercedes-Benz this year. The more compact schedule of the race weekend severely limits the working time that is available to the mechanics. With only one 90-minute free practice session before qualifying the experience of the teams and drivers is more critical.
The youngest of the RS 5 DTM drivers will be featured in a unique way at Hockenheim: Adrien Tambay, on his race suit and on his Audi RS 5 DTM, will be advertising the movie “Iron Man 3.” His pit crew will be sporting the theme of the hero as well. In the new Marvel action film featuring Robert Downey Jr.and Gwyneth Paltrow, the Audi R8 e-tron is one of the protagonists. The movie will arrive at German theatres on Wednesday, May 1, before the DTM weekend at Hockenheim.