On April 29, the DTM season opens at Hockenheim and Audi is starting into it as the title defender and eight-time champion. Here are 45 facts about Audi’s involvement in the most popular international touring car racing series.
1. Audi has won a total of eight DTM titles to date.
2. 2012 marks the 17th DTM season tackled by Audi.
3. The brand with the four rings has so far contested 194 DTM races and won 61 of them. 64 times an Audi racer took the pole position and 53 times the fastest race lap to date was set by an Audi driver.
4. In 2007, 2008 and 2009, Audi was the first – and has so far remained the only –automobile manufacturer to win the DTM title three times in succession.
5. The Audi A4 DTM clinched 34 of the 61 race wins achieved by Audi in the DTM.
6. From 2006 to 2011, Audi and Mercedes were battling for the DTM title between themselves. The final score: 4–2 for Audi.
7. After the V8, the TT and the A4, the A5 is the fourth model to be fielded by Audi in the DTM. So far, Audi has clinched at least one title with each model range for Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm.
8. An Audi A5 DTM consists of around 4,000 parts – about 50 of them are specification parts prescribed by the DTM regulations for all manufacturers.
9. The Audi A5 DTM bears the internal project name “R17” at Audi Sport. The “R17” project was launched on May 4, 2010.
10. The prototype of the Audi A5 DTM did its first kilometers on the Audi test track in Neustadt on July 29, 2011.
11. Around 30,000 test kilometers were reeled off by Audi Sport with the A5 DTM prior to its first racing run.
12. The Audi A5 DTM is 5.01 meters long, 1.95 meters high and 1.15 meters low. All DTM vehicles have an identical wheelbase of 2,750 millimeters.
13. A DTM wheel weighs over 22 kilograms.
14. The current-generation DTM vehicles are regarded as the race touring cars boasting the highest safety standards in motorsport history.
15. The carbon fiber monocoque of the Audi A5 DTM weighs merely 126 kilograms, the roll cage 32.5 kilograms.
16. In the mandatory crash test the side wall of the monocoque has to resist a force of 360 kN, which equates to 36 metric tons or 36 small cars.
17. The requirements specified for the – now 65-centimeter-long – crash absorbers at the front and rear ends of the vehicles have been raised. In addition, a total of four side-impact crash absorbers are installed in the cars for the first time.
18. The A5 DTM is currently using the same engine as its predecessor model, the A4: a V8 with four liters of displacement, around 340 kW (460 hp) and thus comparable performance ratings as the 4.2-liter V8 unit used in the top-of-the-line RS 5.
19. The transmission that is now operated by means of paddle shifters on the steering wheel can achieve a mileage of up to 24,000 kilometers.
20. The steering wheel of the Audi A5 DTM has a diameter of merely 28 centimeters.
21. Unlike the A4 DTM, which still had a steel roof, the Audi A5 DTM has a body made of CFRP.
22. Just like the production model, the Audi A5 DTM has headlights with LED daytime running light. Audi is a trendsetter in the field of LED technology. At the Le Mans 24 Hours, Audi has been the first automobile manufacturer to compete with full LED headlights since last year.
23. With an average age of barely 27 years, Audi is competing with the youngest driver line-up of the three manufacturers in the 2012 DTM.
24. Aged 21, the Frenchman Adrien Tambay is the “junior” in Audi’s line-up, Mattias Ekström (33) the “senior.”
25. The Audi drivers in the 2012 DTM season hail from seven different nations (France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain). Edoardo Mortara has dual citizenship (Italy/France). Timo Scheider is German but races with an Austrian license.
26. With 17 wins under his belt, Mattias Ekström is the brand’s most successful DTM racer.
27. In the 2012 DTM, points are awarded for the first time according to the system used in Formula 1: 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 for positions one to ten.
28. Refueling during DTM races is no longer permitted. The Audi A5 DTM has a 120-liter fuel tank.
29. Each race has two mandatory pit stops for tire changes. A quick pit stop in the DTM takes less than three seconds, the same time it takes the Audi A5 DTM to accelerate from rest to 100 km/h.
30. 14 mechanics perform a DTM pit stop – three per wheel, plus one man with the wand that supplies compressed air to the air jack system in the car and the famous “lollipop man” who directs the A5 to the right position in the pit lane with a sign that looks like an oversized lollipop.
31. The minimum weight of a DTM vehicle was specified at 1,100 kilograms for the 2012 season – including 85 kilograms for the driver. Drivers who weigh less than that have to take appropriate ballast on board.
32. Per race weekend, a driver may use a maximum of 28 unused slicks (14 front and 14 rear tires). 40 tires are permitted for the first weekend.
33. For all DTM events – from the beginning of the first DTM event to the end of the last classification race – a maximum of three engines are permitted per two registered drivers. No mechanical component inside the sealed engines may be worked on, removed or exchanged.
34. Two drivers combined may use a maximum of six sets of brake discs.
35. Since the past season, Hankook has been the DTM’s exclusive tire supplier. Compared with last year, the wheels have larger dimensions (12 x 18 instead of 10 x 18 inches at the front and 13 x 18 instead of 11 x 18 inches at the rear axle).
36. The DTM season opener is taking place at the Hockenheimring for the 16th time. Since 1995, the circuit in Baden-Württemberg has been the traditional venue of the first DTM race of the year.
37. Seven DTM events are held in Germany in 2012; in addition, there are visits to Great Britain, Austria, the Netherlands and Spain.
38. According to calculations by Audi Sport the top speed (around 260 km/h) in the 2012 DTM season is reached at the end of the Parabolika at the Hockenheimring. The slowest corner – at around 50 km/h – is turn 1 at the Norisring in Nuremberg.
39. 62,000 spectators on average attended the DTM events last year. On its debut, the show event at the Munich Olympic Stadium immediately attracted 54,000 spectators.
40. On a total of five of the nine DTM tracks, Audi is holding the qualifying record (Hockenheim, Spielberg, Zandvoort, Oschersleben and Valencia).
41. On the Spanish circuit at Valencia, Audi has remained unbeaten in the DTM so far – the same applies to Audi factory driver Mattias Ekström.
42. 2012 marks the 26th season for the DTM – including its international offspring, the “ITC”, in 1996. 269 DTM events with 379 classified races have been held so far in total.
43. The narrowest finishing gap at a DTM race was 0.089 seconds (Norisring 1996), the largest lead 51.96 seconds (Mainz-Finthen 1985).
44. The most commanding victory in the DTM since its re-launch in 2000 was achieved by Mattias Ekström in the Audi A4 DTM 2011 at Oschersleben. After a memorable wet race the Swede crossed the finish line with a 42.167-second advantage.
45. Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz last competed against each other at a DTM race on June 18, 1992 at the Nürburgring Nordschleife.