For a number of the DTM Series drivers, 2019 came early as they had the first opportunity to test their new machines.
Next year will see the introduction of the Class One regulations with the cars going through drastic changes to improve racing allow the DTM to compete alongside the Super GT.
The cars will have a power increase of around 100bhp thanks to the new four-cylinder two-litre turbocharged engines.
Other changed have led to aerodynamic developments.
Both Audi and BMW have stated that the rear wing, underfloor, front and rear diffuser have had updates.
The front end had also been redesigned to fit the more compact turbo engine and its cooling requirements.
Nico Müller, René Rast and Mike Rockenfeller tested the Audi, whilst Bruno Spengler and Marco Wittmann were at the wheel of the BMW.
“The new DTM car has terrific muscle and momentum,” said Müller.
“The turbo engine has awesome thrust. We’re going to see speeds that the DTM has never seen before. The power boost is really noticeable. This is going to make even greater demands on us drivers. The car also looks really fast when you stand trackside. The sound is fascinating too. I definitely wouldn’t want to swap the turbo for the old V8 aspirated engine again.”
BMW’s Wittmann had similar thoughts regarding the new cars.
“It was a very cool experience,” said Wittmann. “You can clearly feel that the car has considerably more power than before. We can all look forward to that – spectators and us drivers alike. The higher performance will alter our driving style, as we will be approaching corners significantly faster, so the braking points will come sooner.”
Audi’s project leader Andreas Roos, added: “Obviously, we still have a lot of work to do at this early stage, but the tests were positive. The fact that a new race car works so well right on day one can’t be taken for granted. Everyone in our DTM squad can be very proud of this.”
“We’re pleased to see that the first impressions of our drivers confirm exactly what we were aiming to achieve with the new DTM race cars,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass. “The cars are faster, more challenging to drive, look more dynamic and sound really good. The DTM is at the beginning of an exciting era. Even at this point, I can hardly wait to see the new cars in a race for the first time. The improvement of the power to weight ratio can be seen with the naked eye. With that, we’re taking a clear step toward the ‘ride on a cannon ball’ that Gerhard Berger would like to see.”
Aston Martin, who will be joining the DTM in partnership with HWA and R-Motorsport, were not present as it continues to prepare for a planned 2019 debut.
The entry list for next season when the privateer team WRT joined, with Audi and BMW keen to expand the grid numbers through privateers.
BMW has confirmed its next test will be at Jerez on 10-11 December while Audi has not outline its testing programme.