|April 7, 2006
When 10,000 hp are Unleashed
At exactly 14:05 at Hockenheim on Sunday the starting light will switch from "red” to "green” for the first time in the new DTM season. Almost 10,000 hp will be unleashed when the race director pushes the button to send the 20 DTM cars to the year’s first race.
The standing start not only gives the spectators a big thrill. The adrenalin level of the DTM drivers rises as well. Considering the enormous competitiveness of the DTM field, a perfect start can be crucial. The best example of this was the round at the EuroSpeedway last September, in which Audi driver Mattias Ekstrom kept his rival Gary Paffett at bay throughout the race.
Roughly 1,100 kilograms – this is the weight of an Audi A4 DTM including fuel and driver. Electronic driving aids are prohibited in the DTM. Merely a parking brake that prevents the car from starting to roll, which is activated via a paddle in the steering wheel, assists the drivers to some extent. The rest they need to do themselves. This means: finding the optimum point to let the clutch drag, releasing the brake at the right moment and not using too much throttle because this would make the rear wheels spin excessively. Yet if the driver is too timid, there is a risk of stalling the engine – in this case a switch must be used by the driver to activate the warning lamps at the windscreen and rear window with a message that is not quite fit for children to see, "Start Fuck-up"....