Three-day tests of the DTM test team at Monteblanco, Spain
Mattias Ekström and Jamie Green testing for Audi Sport
Detailed optimizations on the most successful DTM car of the 2015 season
Two and a half months before the first race of the new DTM season, the winter break is over: Mattias Ekström and Jamie Green are performing important tests with the Audi RS 5 DTM at Monteblanco, Spain, this week.
The number of test days is heavily limited in the DTM, with only one more pre-season test scheduled before the season opener at Hockenheim on May 7. Consequently, the three days near Seville are particularly valuable for the Audi Sport test team.
“The test at Monteblanco offers the only opportunity to check the effectiveness of the ideas our engineers worked out in winter before we pass them on to our teams,” says Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport.
During the Hockenheim pre-season test from April 4 to 8, all eight Audi drivers together with their teams will have the opportunity to prepare for the new season at the wheel of their race cars. In contrast, only two test versions of the Audi RS 5 DTM and two drivers have been deployed to Monteblanco.
“Obviously, all our drivers would like to drive in Spain as well,” says Gass. “But to achieve optimum test results, we prefer to use only one driver per car.” Selected for the test were the two best-placed drivers of the past season, Jamie Green and Mattias Ekström.
In terms of technology, the Audi RS 5 DTM has not changed compared with last year – as changes are prohibited by the regulations. Detailed improvements, however, are possible – and they existed even with a car that won ten of the 18 DTM races last year.
“We concentrated on discovering and analyzing weak points in order to tackle any area in which we can still make some adjustments,” says Gass. “This was primarily focused on reliability and fine-tuning work for race tracks on which we were not so strong last year.”
Now Jamie Green and Mattias Ekström are tasked to verify the results of the fine-tuning work on the race track. While Ekström participated in the DTM Young Driver Test at Jerez in early December as a reference driver, Green is taking the wheel of the Audi RS 5 DTM for the first time again since his victory in the DTM finale at Hockenheim in October.
In the 2016 season, the Briton will have Adrien Tambay as his new teammate in Audi Sport Team Rosberg. His previous team partner, Nico Müller, is forming Audi Sport Team Abt together with Miguel Molina.
Competing for Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline will be Mattias Ekström and Edoardo Mortara. Audi Sport Team Phoenix will compete with its unchanged lineup of Mike Rockenfeller and Timo Scheider.
Audi DTM Teams 2016
Audi Sport Team Abt
#17 Miguel Molina (E), #51 Nico Müller (CH)
Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline
#5 Mattias Ekström (S), #48 Edoardo Mortara (I)
Audi Sport Team Phoenix
#99 Mike Rockenfeller (D), #10 Timo Scheider (D)
Audi Sport Team Rosberg
#53 Jamie Green (GB), #27 Adrien Tambay (F)