Text: Rick Kiewiet
The 2019 DTM season will bring a couple of significant changes to the series. The normally aspirated 500hp v8 is replaced by a 2 litre 4 cylinder engine, producing some 600hp, Mercedes left the championship, Aston Martin joins, we see the return of customer teams and the calendar has a couple of new tracks added, while some long-time regulars won't return in 2019.
The new season starts off in the first weekend of May 2019 at Hockenheim and consists of nine race weekend, totalling up to 18 races. The other German tracks on the calendar are regulars Lausitzring, moved from a round early in the season to August, classic Norisring in early July and the Nürburgring in September. The circus will return to Brands Hatch in the weekend of 10 and 11 August. The round in Misano, Italy is scheduled for early June.
New to the calendar is the TT circuit Assen in The Netherlands. Since many years the Dutch DTM round was held at Zandvoort, but now the organisation decided to try out the legendary Moto GP circuit in mid-July. Making it's return to the championship after an absence of 16 years, the Flamisch circuit of Zolder will host the 2nd round of the season in mid-May.
Next to Zandvoort, Spielberg and the Hungaroring will also not host a DTM-round in 2019.
First roll-outs of 2019 turbo cars
Both BMW and Audi have had their first roll-outs of their 2019 cars, fitted with the new 2.0l, 4 cylinder turbo engines. Both brands completed a three-day test in Estoril, Portugal. Bruno Spengler and Marco Wittmann took the wheel of the new M4, while René Rast and Mike Rockenfeller took the new RS5 out for the first time. All drivers commented the cars were more spectacular to drive, with more power (some 100 hp more) and redesigned aero to accommodate cooling for the new turbo engines. Important for the fans: we supposedly don't have to worry about the sound of the 4 cylinder turbo engines... Judge for yourself in the vid below the gallery.
Images courtesy of BMW Motorsport and Audi Sport respectively.
No news yet from Customer teams or Aston Martin.
Neither Aston Martin, which will field two cars in the upcoming season, nor Belgian Audi team WRT has enclosed any new info regarding to the new season. Rumours are going that a BMW-customer team will also field to cars in 2019, making up a total grid of 6 factory Audi's, 6 factory BMW's, 2 customer Audi's and BMW's and, rumour has it, 4 Aston Martins: 20 cars in total. Driver line-ups have also not yet been confirmed.
Next tests are schedule 10th to 12th December in Estoril.