- New regulations make for fastest DTM-car ever.
- 19 year-old South African Sheldon van der Linde completes BMW driver line up.
- Audi confirms 2019 driver line-up.
- First impression of the brand new Aston Martin Vantage DTM?
Images: BMW Motorsport, Audi, DTM and Rick Kiewiet
Text: Rick Kiewiet
New rulebook for 2019 creates fastest DTM machines to date.
In order to level the cars in both the Japanese GT500 series and DTM, 2019 sees the introduction of the new so-called "Class 1" regulations. This opened up possibilities for BMW (and Audi and Aston Martin ofcourse) to build the fastest ever touring cars ever. BMW was so kind to set out the most important changes to the car compared to 2018 of which you find a summary here. Make sure to also check the provided infographs below the text!
1. Power unit and exhaust. The biggest change to the series we don't even see, perhaps not even hear: the 4-litre v8 engines which produced such a characterizing sound are replaced by a 2-litre 4 cylinder turbo-engine. DTM managed to postpone adherence to the 'green' trend in motorsport for quite some time, but to also bring the cars a little closer to the actual road cars it couldn't wait any longer. The new engines use less fuel and less emission than its v8 counterpart. Although the engine is only half the capacity of the 2018 version, it is said to produce up to a hundred extra horsepower, making it the most powerful DTM-engine ever.
The exhaust system had to be redesigned as well, and in accordance with the new regulations only one exhaust pipe instead of the 'usual' two on both sides of the car is allowed.
2. Push-to-pass. 2019 also sees the introduction of a push-to-pass system. With a push of a button, 30 extra horsepower is available by shutting down the fuel restrictor to the engine. Drivers can use the puss-to-pass 12 times per race.
3. Rear wing and DRS. The new rules allow for a wider rear wing, which now however can only consist of one element. The wing is still fitted with a DRS system, available 12 times per race if they're within a 3-second range of the car in front. In the last 5 laps of the race, drivers can use the system regardless of the gap in front.
4. Other aerodynamics. As a turbo-engine needs more cooling than a normally aspirated v8, some changes were made for cooling purposes. First, and I find this sort of a fun fact, up until 2018, DTM-cars were obliged to have a (space to fit a) number plate. This has been abandoned for 2019 to optimize the cooling intake at the front of the car. Also, the cooling vents in the hood are now significantly larger, cooling vents in the rear window are now allowed and the overall minimum weight of the car has been been lowered to 981 kgs. The power-to-weight ratio of a DTM-car is now a whopping 1.6 kg/hp (in comparison GT3 cars have about 2.3 kg/hp, non-hybrid LMP1 1.4 kg / hp and F1 1-1.1 kg/hp). This all leads to the prediction that the cars will be able to reach top speeds in excess of 300 km/h (186 mph) on several places on the calendar, such as on the straight heading towards Parabolika at Hockenheim.
Sheldon van der Linde to make his debut in 2019 season.
BMW had yet to confirm its final driver in the line up for 2019, after confirmation of Glock (GER), Spengler (CAN), Wittmann (GER), Eng (AUT) and Eriksson (SWE) earlier. After the young driver test at Jerez back in december where Mikkel Jensen, Nick Catsburg, Nick Yelloly and Sheldon van der Linde participated, the choice was made to pick the latter young South African to complete the line-up for 2019.
Van der Linde moved up through the ranks from karting, the VW Polo cup, the Audi TT cup and up to the ADAC GT Masters last year where he shared a Montaplast by Land Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 with his brother Kelvin. After only one year in GT3 racing, he's now promoted to the highest category of touring car racing at the age of 19.
Audi confirms 2019 driver line-up
No changes in Audi's driver line-up for 2019. Robin Frijns (NL) and Nico Müller (CH) will represent Team Abt Sportsline, Loïc Duval (FR) and Mike Rockenfeller (GER) will compete with Team Phoenix and Team Rosberg will make use of the services of René Rast (GER) and (until now) the only Brit in the series Jamie Green. This means that none of the drivers who participated in the tests at the end of last season (Jonathan Aberdein, Andreas Bakkerud, Mattia Drudi, Sacha Fenestraz, Sergey Sirotkin, LMP1 veteran Benoît Tréluyer and Frédéric Vervisch) made it to the 2019 line-up.
First peek at the 2019 Aston Martin Vantage DTM?
And finally, a what is believed first peek at the Aston Martin Vantage DTM. In a picture for promotional purposes DTM shared the picture below. It's all still *crickets chirping* around R-Motorsport / HWA / Aston Martin entry, but at least we have this ;-). If you like, take a look for yourself at www.dtm.com/en