Rast: Difficult conditions during first test with new Audi
DTM-Champion Rene Rast explains how the reduced aerodynamics of the DTM-Audi is noticeable – Higher top speeds and more overtaking manoeuvres to be expected
Rain and snow caused adverse conditions during the test drives in Vallelunga last week. Lucas Auer felt this in his own body when the Mercedes driver took off on the wet road and landed in the limit of the track. Due to the damage to the car, the comeback of the DTM driver Pascal Wehrlein had to be postponed for the time being. Rene Rast also had to cope with the difficult conditions:”I drove on Saturday, it was already very wet. We couldn’t drive in the morning because there was too much rain,”says the reigning DTM champion to’ dtm. com’. But the track remained wet and we drove completely with rain tyres. That wasn’t ideal for me.”
Nevertheless, the Audi driver was able to complete around 100 laps and was able to test the innovations on the RS5 DTM. The aerodynamics and downforce of the DTM cars in particular were significantly reduced before the new season “We have tried out many set-up variants. The car is not new, of course, but we have changed aerodynamics. Especially for the rain, we have tested everything we had in terms of variants,”explains the German.
But in the rain it is difficult to compare with the previous year’s car “The car feels similar. We’ve lost some of our aerodynamics. With the appropriate set-up, you can make it easy to drive,”he explains. Rast believes that the changes could be felt more clearly in the race simulator,”I have already noticed a big difference. If you drove the old car five minutes before, and five minutes later the new car, you notice that directly. But once you get used to the new car and get used to it, you quickly forget how the old car drove.”
The reduced aerodynamics are particularly noticeable in the corners, as it means “you have less speed in the corners”, says Rast, whose team mate Jamie Green was also in action during the test drives in Italy. If you drive into the bend at the same speed as last year, it can get a little tight.”
The 18 DTM drivers are going into the new season with the same conditions and have to get used to the new driving behaviour of their cars. The Audi man from Minden believes that the DTM drivers’ field will be even more closely matched by the alignment of the DTM racers,”The fact that more standard parts are now installed means that the cars of the manufacturers are relatively similar. As a result, I believe that the field will move even closer together. We will therefore see even better races, there will be more overtaking manoeuvres. It may be that the top speeds at the end of the straight line will be higher due to the lower drag.”
Rast admits that he has been watching the competition in Vallelunga very closely:”Especially at the first exit, of course, you have to take a look at what the competition has done differently. Before the champion is back in the DTM race again, he will go to New Zealand and on to America, where he will participate in Sebring’s 12-hour race. Afterwards he flies back to Germany to his team and takes a seat in the race simulator. From 9. till 12. The final test drives will take place in Hockenheim on April 4, where the final tests will take place at the same location a few weeks later (4. till 6. May) the new season begins.
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