The DTM Season 2019
The greatest possible degree of safety, controlled by DEKRA, is important for all participants. Especially since, with new engine regulations, the DTM will be gaining speed again considerably in 2019.
The drive of the class 1 racing vehicles of Audi, Aston Martin, and BMW is the core of the changes: Instead of the previous V8 suction engines, modern four-cylinder turbo engines with a 2.0 liter capacity are being used. And this is accompanied by a considerable increase in performance: The new DTM engines have approximately 610 hp and allow a maximum speed of 300 km/h. And this along with a weight reduction of the vehicles to 986 kilograms. This makes the DTM quicker than ever before! To accommodate the changes in the drive, the car design was also modified. Especially at the front of the vehicle, the innovations are easily detectable: In order that more cooling air can be fed to the engine and the brakes, the cars have received larger openings. Newly designed front and rear diffusors as well as underbodies in imitation of those used in the Japanese Super GT series round off the technical adaptations.
Additionally, in 2019, the drivers can make use of two overtaking aids. The time-tested drag reduction system (DRS) allows the drivers to open the rear wing with the press of a button and thus to reduce the air resistance. In this way, a higher top speed is possible. DRS can be used as of a gap of three seconds to the driver in front and without any restriction in the last five laps of the race – however, not by the race leader.
An innovation for the 2019 DTM season is the push-to-pass system. Here, the drivers can call upon an additional performance of 30 hp for a short time. However, caution is required: The extra performance can be activated by each driver only twelve times per race.
This year’s race calendar has only nine races instead of ten. No longer included are the Hungaroring in Hungary, the Red Bull Ring in Austria, and Zandvoort in the Netherlands. However, two new tracks have been added, Zolder in Belgium and Assen in the Netherlands. Assen is making its DTM debut; for Zolder, it is a comeback, with the first DTM race having been held on the race track near Hasselt in 1984.
Moreover, the familiar giants are represented in the 2019 DTM calendar. Hockenheim kicks things off on May 4/5. A season highlight comes at the “Franconian Monaco,” the Norisring in Nuremberg, on July 6/7 – directly after the outing to Misano in Italy, where the first DTM night races were held last year. However, in 2019 the races will take place in daylight. After stops at Brands Hatch, at the DEKRA Lausitzring, and at the Nürburgring, the drivers will return to Hockenheim for the season finals on October 5/6. The latter race will also have Japanese participation: Honda, Lexus, and Nissan will each send a vehicle to Hockenheim and will take part in the DTM finals. The “return game” of the DTM brands will follow later in Fuji, Japan.
First, though, the domestic competition is on the agenda, and thus the first season after the withdrawal of Mercedes-Benz. The traditional DTM brand withdrew in 2018 after winning all the titles in the race series. However, a replacement is at hand, with the entrance of tradition-steeped British sports car manufacturer Aston Martin. The race project is a partnership between the field team R-Motorsport and engine manufacturer HWA. In Paul di Resta, an ex-champion is joining the newcomers, while in Jake Dennis and Ferdinand Habsburg two of the five new drivers in the DTM will drive for Aston Martin. Two rookies are also starting for the Audi customer team WRT: Jonathan Aberdein and Pietro Fittipaldi, the grandson of two-time Formula 1 world champion Emerson Fittipaldi. Additionally, BMW has secured the services of Sheldon van der Linde.
For the first time in years, the manufacturers will have differing starting line-up strengths. Audi and BMW have six factory cars each, while newcomer Aston Martin will use four vehicles. WRT, as the only customer team, will present a further two Audi DTM racing cars.
In René Rast, Paul di Resta, Mike Rockenfeller, Bruno Spengler, and Marco Wittmann, seven former DTM champions will take to the wheel, with a total of nine of the 18 drivers already having won in the DTM. And rarely before has it been so difficult to say who is the favorite. All the more important is the close collaboration between DTM and DEKRA for balanced and safe races.
This collaboration will also be visually evident: The striking green logo of the expert organization will be emblazoned on each DTM vehicle this year as well. It cannot be documented more clearly or visibly: DEKRA and the DTM – they simply belong together. Because for DEKRA, this partnership is not just sponsoring, but core expertise with passion – for the last 30 years.