DTM: Audi: Class One must reduce costs

DTM: Audi: Class One must reduce costs

International Racing

DTM: Audi: Class One must reduce costs

The DTM must deliver cost reductions with its incoming Class One technical platform, Audi motorsport boss Wolfgang Ullrich says.

Set to be introduced in 2017 as part of an alliance with Japan’s Super GT series, the changes are headlined by replacing the traditional V8 engines with two-liter, four-cylinder turbo units.

A technical working group including representatives from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes from the DTM, plus Honda, Lexus and Nissan from Super GT aims to have a first version of the regulations written by the end of August.

While the body shapes will look familiar, one element of the work is to cut downforce, and therefore cornering speeds and wear on components, in a bid to reduce costs, something Ullrich says is vital.

“It’s the goal of all of us, and we’ll try to find common ideas and common solutions,” he said. “A key issue is to bring costs down and try to find ideas that we think can make the racing even more interesting because of the behaviour of the cars.

“If you try to stabilise [costs], I think the result will not be great. You need to have the target to bring it down. We will not take any compromise on quality, that is not the point, but there is something you can work on and bring costs down. That’s not too easy, but that’s our goal.”

HOMOLOGATION DATES UP IN THE AIR

While current DTM machinery has been frozen since the start of 2014 – with the exception of Mercedes being granted permission to revise its struggling C-Coupe late last year – the series faces a decision about when the next generation cars will be homologated.

Ullrich notes the scope for costs to creep up through ongoing development, countered by the chance a situation akin to Mercedes’ Formula 1 domination could be created through the engine revamp.

“If there is a new rule and there is a completely different engine spec, I think it’s not the idea to freeze immediately after the first year,” Ullrich said. “If a new rulebook is there, you need a little bit more time that everybody can come on quite a similar level. But we all know that the longer you let it run, the more costs you create. So you need to find a compromise there.”

Originally on Autosport.com

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