New DTM cars faster than ex-F1 driver Paul di Resta expected
|By Mitchell Adam||Wednesday, April 19th 2017, 09:32 GMT|
This year's revamped DTM cars are proving faster than Mercedes driver Paul di Resta anticipated.
In a shift of the series' philosophy, the V8 engines developed by Audi, BMW and Mercedes now produce more than 500hp following changes to the air intake and cooling systems.
However, those power gains are offset by significant cuts to the amount of downforce generated, while softer but less durable new control tyres are also being introduced.
BMW's Timo Glock set the pace in the DTM's pre-season test at Hockenheim, with his 1m30.201s more than two seconds faster than the pole time and four seconds up on the fastest race lap at the circuit's 2016 finale last October.
"The biggest surprise for me is how fast the new cars are," di Resta said. "Lap times were much lower.
"Thanks to the new regulations, there's less downforce, but more power and tyres with more grip.
"Driving these cars is great fun, but looking after tyres is going to be a major challenge."
Di Resta finished the four days of testing as Glock's closest challenger, just 0.037s behind on the final day, with Mercedes stablemates Gary Paffett, Lucas Auer and Robert Wickens also in the top six.
Having finished 15th, eighth and fifth in his three seasons since returning to the DTM from Formula 1, di Resta wants to challenge for a second title.
"It was a very productive test," he said.
"We collected plenty of data and can be confident about the future.
"Of course, things can change, but we are better prepared than we've been in a long time.
"Hopefully, we can be title contenders as a result."