Stormy Portuguese Test Ends With Positive Feedback for Audi

by Jake Handley

Audi Sport concluded a stormy and difficult test last week, with all three of the DTM’s manufactures hitting the track for the first time together in 2015.

The first official pre-season test of 2015, held in Estoril, Portugal, saw the track hit by less than optimal conditions, with rain and wind affecting the three day event.

All eight of Audi’s drivers took part in the test, with the three teams, Audi Sport Abt Sportsline, Audi Sport Team Phoenix and Audi Sport Team Rosberg, having one 2015 car at the test, with Audi themselves also running one 2015 car with additional sensors for drivers Mattias Ekström and Miguel Molina.

Across the test, Audi completed a combined total of 1,382 laps, equalling a distance of 5,779 kilometres, with only one problem, that being a small off for Adrien Tambay, effecting running, with the RS 5 DTM leading the way in all but two of the six sessions.

The fastest of those laps was by Nico Muller, with a lap of 1:32.443s on the last day making sure the #51 Team Rosberg car stayed on top. “It was great for me to be able to test for two full days,” said the 23-year-old Swiss, whose engineer this season is Karl Jennings. “We don’t have a lot of testing opportunities in the DTM. Obviously, the weather hampered our testing program a little. But the items we checked off were positive.”

Nico Müller with former driver Kimmo Liimatainen.

Nico Müller with former driver Kimmo Liimatainen.

Talking of the weather, Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport, said: “Unfortunately, the external conditions weren’t exactly optimal. On the first and on the last day, we had very strong gusty winds. On the second day, there was intermittent rain.

“It won’t be easy to draw the right conclusions from the test results. But after the long winter break, it was extremely important for our drivers to get a lot of driving time and to get an idea of the set-up work that was done over the winter months.

“We’re pleased that our drivers immediately felt comfortable again in the RS 5 DTM and made positive comments about the basic set-up that was worked out in winter. “

Commenting on the handling of the RS 5, 2008 and 2009 champion Timo Scheider said: “The whole team did a good job in winter. This was the first time for me to sit in the RS 5 DTM since the finale at Hockenheim and I immediately felt comfortable. The car is superbly balanced.”

Before the season opener at Hockenheim in the first weekend in May, another official DTM test is scheduled at Oschersleben from April 14 to 16.

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