|March 20, 2006
Tests in the DTM Every Day Counts
Tom Kristensen did not have a lot of time for a proper celebration of the Audi R10 TDIs historic victory in the 12-hour race at Sebring (USA): As early as on Sunday the Audi works driver flew back to Europe from Miami in order to participate in the official DTM tests at Brands Hatch (England).
The four-day test at the former British Grand Prix circuit on the outskirts of London in which all nine Audi DTM factory drivers are taking part is an important component of the preparations for the new DTM season scheduled to start on April 9th because, for cost reasons, tests in the most popular international touring car series are subject to strict limitations.
In winter, the manufacturers are permitted merely ten exclusive days of testing at race tracks approved either by the FIA or a national association. During the season, the number of tests permitted is reduced to as few as eight for two cars each. For the Audi drivers, this means that except for the race weekends they seldom have the chance to take the wheel of an Audi A4 DTM.
Consequently, the official DTM tests at Brands Hatch scheduled from Monday to Thursday this weeks are particularly important: They are not deducted from the number of tests allotted to each manufacturer and offer the drivers the last true opportunity to familiarise themselves with their new competition cars prior to the start of the season.