The number of test days permitted in the DTM are strictly limited – which makes the task that Mattias Ekström and Mike Rockenfeller must complete from March 2-4 in Portuguese Portimão even more important: about two months before the 2015 DTM season starts, Audi Sport puts two RS 5 DTM test cars through their paces.
The demanding race track in southwest Portugal is the venue of a test attended by all three automobile manufacturers involved in the DTM. Afterwards, there are only two more test opportunities before the season opener at Hockenheim on the first May weekend.
Audi Sport has two RS 5 DTM test cars (chassis number 105 and 115) in action on the Algarve coast. After a brief shakedown on Sunday, March 1, three busy test days each lasting eight hours (8:30 to 12:00 and 13:00 to 17:30) are on the agenda for Mattias Ekström and Mike Rockenfeller. Youngster Nico Müller is on hand as backup.
The Audi Sport trucks set off on the 2,700-kilometer journey to Portimão on Wednesday, February 25. While it’s still winter in Germany, the DTM team hopes to have consistent and perfect testing conditions in the south.
The same applies to the track. “Last time I was there to test, the circuit was very bumpy,” remembers Mike Rockenfeller. “This has been worked on. I’m curious, because in general Portimão is a fantastic track with a demanding layout and fast corners with high G forces – they make big demands of the driver.”
“Even if the technology in the DTM cars has not changed since last year, Portimão is an important test for us because of the few test days we have in the DTM,” says the 2013 DTM Champion. “It’s all about improving details, to refine the set-up, to get in as many laps as possible and to learn. I’m looking forward to it.”