In summer 2015, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz jointly repositioned the DTM and made it fit for the future. Following some strategic tweaks last years, 2017 is seeing a major change. All three manufacturers are putting new cars on the grid to make the sport even more attractive. In addition, the new cars pose a greater challenge to the drivers. Aerodynamic downforce has been reduced by the regulations, engine power has increased to more than 500 HP and the softer tires that degrade faster in the race.
In addition, the tires may no longer be preheated. This makes the initial laps following the start and a tire change particularly thrilling. During the pit stops, only a total of eight mechanics may change the wheels. This makes the pit stops longer and more transparent for the spectators. All 18 races feature an identical format of 55 minutes, plus one lap including the tire change.
The officials have increased the effect of the Drag Reduction System (DRS) in order to enable more overtaking maneuvers. The driver no longer lowers the entire wing but, like in Formula 1, flattens the angle of the top wing blade.
Even smallest details have been fine-tuned by the developers. The small winglets at the front have been moved further inward, which protects them in collisions. And the redesigned rear diffusor of the car causes less damage in contact with another car as well.
The DTM is pursuing new avenues also in terms of presenting the starter field and its appearance in the paddock. The most important change for fans is that spectators are now able to peek into the pits of selected manufacturers. “Our aim is to create an all-new fan experience and we still have a lot of other ideas in the pipeline,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass. “2017 is an initial step in the right direction.”