2019 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters season preview and entry list
The 33rd DTM season will kick-off at the Hockenheimring this weekend. Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters is entering not only the new season but a new era with many changes, including new technical and sporting regulations, new manufacturer and new drivers, and revised schedule of races.
The season will have nine rounds, instead of ten as in 2018, traditionally starting and ending at Hockenheimring. Hungaroring, Red Bull Ring and Zandvoort dropped out from a calendar, Zolder is returning for the first time since 2002 and TT Circuit Assen would be a brand new venue. The other tracks are Misano, Norisring, Brands Hatch, Lausitzring and Nürburgring.
The biggest novelty for the 2019 DTM season is a new manufacturer in the championship – Aston Martin. The British brand is replacing Mercedes, becoming the first non-German manufacturer in the DTM since Alfa Romeo back in 1996.
Aston Martin would be represented by four cars operated by the Swiss team R-Motorsport. When choosing drivers’ line-up, they opted for a combination of experience and youth, taking former Mercedes drivers Paul di Resta and Dani Juncadella plus two rookies Ferdinand Habsburg and Jake Dennis.
In total, five rookies will be on the 18-place grid. BMW hired South African Sheldon van der Linde to drive the #31 car. Audi will also have South African flag on one of its cars, taking Jonathan Aberdein to drive the #27 car for Audi Sport Team WRT. The Belgian squad will make its debut in the DTM with two rookies, the other is Pietro Fittipaldi, grandson of two-time F1 champion Emerson Fittipaldi.
Audi will have eight cars, BMW will complete the grid with six cars. Besides two WRT’s rookies, the other Audi drivers are Robin Frijns, Nico Muller, Loic Duval, Mike Rockenfeller, Rene Rast and Jamie Green. BMW will rely on one rookie and five experienced drivers Bruno Spengler, Marco Wittmann, Timo Glock, Philipp Eng and Joel Eriksson.
On the technical side of the story, the season 2019 marks the beginning of a new era. The new two-litre turbo engines were introduced, replacing naturally aspirated V8s.
Turbo engines are returning to the DTM for the first time since 1987, featuring approximately 610 hp and 650 Nm torque. Minimum car weight has been reduced to 986 kilograms, making the power to weight ratio of 1.6 kg per horsepower — the best in DTM’s history. Aral remains the official partner of the championship, meaning that all engines will run on Aral Ultimate 102 unleaded fuel.
To spice up the action, DTM retains both push-to-pass system and DRS (drag reduction system). The push-to-pass system is increasing engine performance at the touch of a button. The use of push-to-pass is limited to twelve activations per race.
New DTM cars have new rear wings that are 520 mm wider than their predecessors but now feature just a single element. The DRS is featuring a pneumatic mechanism on the wing that allows the flap to be lowered at the touch of a button. The DRS now may be used when the distance to the car in front is three seconds, previously it was just one second. In the race, every driver is allowed to activate the DRS for a maximum of 12 laps.
For the ninth year in a row, Hankook stays the official tyre partner of DTM. The ‘Ventus Race’ slicks will be used for the fourth consecutive season, with dimensions 300/680 R18 (front) and 320/710 R18 (rear). The wet-weather version would be the ‘Ventus Race Rain’ tyre.
The race format has been changed compared to 2018. Now, each race will be held over a defined number of laps, depending on each respective racetrack, based on a race duration of approximately 58 minutes. Another new feature is the possibility of ‘extra time’: after a safety car period, the race director can extend the race by up to three laps. The maximum permitted race time is 70 minutes.
The partnership with the Japanese Super GT Series is not new but it will step to a new level in 2019. DTM will host several Super GT cars at season’s finale at Hockenheim. In November, the DTM and Super GT will appear together again in the Super GT non-championship event at Fuji Speedway.
The support programme during DTM weekends is refreshed. The biggest novelty is the brand new all-female W Series single-seater championship. The other supporting series will be Porsche Carrera Cups of Germany, Benelux and France, then Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup and the attractive Tourenwagen Classics.
2019 DTM entry list
|3||Paul di Resta||R-Motorsport||Aston Martin Vantage AMR Turbo DTM|
|23||Daniel Juncadella||R-Motorsport||Aston Martin Vantage AMR Turbo DTM|
|62||Ferdinand Habsburg (R)||R-Motorsport||Aston Martin Vantage AMR Turbo DTM|
|76||Jake Dennis (R)||R-Motorsport||Aston Martin Vantage AMR Turbo DTM|
|4||Robin Frijns||Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline||Audi RS5 Turbo DTM|
|51||Nico Muller||Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline||Audi RS5 Turbo DTM|
|21||Pietro Fittipaldi (R)||Audi Sport Team WRT||Audi RS5 Turbo DTM|
|27||Jonathan Aberdein (R)||Audi Sport Team WRT||Audi RS5 Turbo DTM|
|28||Loic Duval||Audi Sport Team Phoenix||Audi RS5 Turbo DTM|
|99||Mike Rockenfeller||Audi Sport Team Phoenix||Audi RS5 Turbo DTM|
|33||Rene Rast||Audi Sport Team Rosberg||Audi RS5 Turbo DTM|
|53||Jamie Green||Audi Sport Team Rosberg||Audi RS5 Turbo DTM|
|7||Bruno Spengler||BMW Team RMG||BMW M4 Turbo DTM|
|11||Marco Wittmann||BMW Team RMG||BMW M4 Turbo DTM|
|16||Timo Glock||BMW Team RMG||BMW M4 Turbo DTM|
|25||Philipp Eng||BMW Team RBM||BMW M4 Turbo DTM|
|31||Sheldon van der Linde (R)||BMW Team RBM||BMW M4 Turbo DTM|
|47||Joel Eriksson||BMW Team RBM||BMW M4 Turbo DTM|