The off-season was long but now, at the beginning of springtime, there’s a ray of hope, for the motor-racing enthusiasts: DTM enters the crucial phase of the preparations for the new season at top speed.
Prior to the season opener, held on 5th May at the Hockenheimring, the three premium-car manufacturers involved, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, will contest two joint ITR tests: from 26th to 29th Match at Barcelona and from 9th to 12th April at Hockenheim.
The drivers and teams will use these days to extensively work on the cars to find the perfect basic set up for the 2013 season.
At Barcelona, the teams and the 22 drivers want to use the pleasant weather conditions for covering a lot of testing kilometres.
This applies in particular to the DTM newcomers Timo Glock and Marco Wittmann (both BMW) as well as Daniel Juncadella and Pascal Wehrlein (both Mercedes-Benz) who still have to familiarise themselves with their new racing cars.
And then, the tests at Hockenheim represent the final preparation for the season kick-off held thee weeks later at the same venue.
In addition to the usual fine-tuning, there are some special tasks waiting for the teams, at Barcelona: the manufacturers will test another two features that should have got what it takes to even increase the excitement, in the DTM races.
DTM’s exclusive tyre partner Hankook will take an option tyre to the Spanish metropolis that will offer the driver the opportunity to set clearly faster times, for some laps.
This tyre will make overtaking easier and represents an additional tactics challenge for the teams. In addition, the teams also will test a so-called DRS system.
This system will enable the drivers - just as it is the case in Formula 1 - to temporarily open a flap of the rear wing, resulting in a significantly increased top speed. This system also is supposed to make for more overtaking manoeuvres.