Following its official unveiling in Geneva recently, the new Audi RS 5 DTM hit the circuit this week as Audi Sport continued with their pre-season preparations.
The new car was run in the livery that will be used by Nico Müller this season, a red and black mix with Playboy branding while Mattias Ekström and Jamie Green shared driving duties over the three days at Vallenlunga, Italy.
“It was important for us to drive the final car in this last pre-season development test and to make optimum use of the few test days available to us in the DTM,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass.
“That’s why we’re very happy to have found perfect external conditions at Vallelunga and being able to drive for three days without any issues worth mentioning.”
2016 FIA World Rallycross Champion Ekström completed a total of 760km on the opening day and was happy with the handling of the new Audi.
“An impressive number for a new car,” said Ekström. “We tried out a lot of different things: short stints, long runs, qualifying simulations and many different set-up variants. The new DTM cars are definitely more demanding in terms of driving skills.
“Plus, finding a perfect set-up compromise for the softer tires and the changed aerodynamics is a great challenge. The season is going to be packed with excitement for sure!”
Wednesday saw Jamie Green take over driving duties, the Brit completed a total of 682km as he got to grips with the new car and a circuit he had never visited before.
“Having not been to Vallelunga in a long time I had to first familiarize myself with the track again,” said Green. “Still, we managed to pull off our entire program – it was a productive day.”
The final day saw Ekström back in the driving seat as he added to the testing total of 2,121km.
A final DTM test will take place from April 3-6 at Hockenheim before the competitors return there for the season opener on the weekend of 6/7 May.