DTM Series preparations are underway as the Audi team headed to Lanzarote for a fitness week.
The Ingolstadt based manufacturer goes into 2018 in defence of all three championships having won the manufacturers’, teams’ with Team Rosberg and René Rast being crowned drivers champion in his rookie season.
Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass said: “Team spirit has always been one of our greatest fortes. We’ll continue to count on this strength in the future.”
Following the success of last year the manufacturer has opted for its drivers to remain in the same teams as consistency is key to success.
“No doubt, the motto ‘never change a winning team’ is not a new one,” said Gass. “When you clinch all three DTM titles plus the top four spots in the drivers’ classification there’s really no reason to change everything. That’s why our rookie, Robin Frijns, will take over Mattias Ekström’s cockpit at ABT. The two other driver pairings at Phoenix and Rosberg will remain unchanged. I’m convinced that we’re perfectly set this way for the title defence in the DTM.”
The retirement of Ekström from the DTM has paved the way for Dutchman Frijns who will be the new team-mate of Nico Müller on the Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline. The duo form the youngest driver duo in the DTM, both being 26-years-old, however with 64 DTM races under his belt Müller definitely has experience on his side.
Audi Sport Team Phoenix will be Mike Rockenfeller and Loïc Duval with the latter entering his second season in the DTM.
Team Rosberg will field Jamie Green, who ended 2017 third in the championship, alongside 2017’s champion Rast.
The Team Rosberg duo will also be the first drivers to take to the wheel of the Audi RS 5 DTM at Vallelunga from 1-3 March. All drivers will join in the action in the final pre-season test at Hockenheim from 9-12 April ahead of the season opener at the same track.