Audi pleased with Young Driver Test

Audi has declared itself pleased with the performance of the drivers who sampled the RS 5 DTM during the final test of the DTM season at Jerez.

The Young Driver Test saw seven drivers from a range of different disciplines take to the track at the wheel of a pair of 2018-spec cars being run in the test by Audi Sport Team Rosberg and by new customer team WRT.

With Jamie Green present as a reference driver, the seven drivers completed nearly 600 laps across three days of on-track action, with Jonathan Aberdein managing more than 200 alone and former F1 racer Sergey Sirotkin – a late addition to the line-up – completing nearly 100.

“I watched the DTM as a child, so I was incredibly excited about the test,” the Russian said. “Being able to sit in an RS 5 DTM was a unique experience, but also pretty tricky. I hadn’t found the perfect feel for the car by the end of my stint.

“I’ve never driven a race car before that comes close to the RS 5 DTM – the closest I may have come to it was in Formula 3. The engineers and the mechanics supported me as best they could and shortened the time for me to familiarize myself as much as possible – many thanks once more to everyone.”

Andreas Bakkerud, Mattia Drudi, Sacha Fenestraz, Benoît Tréluyer and Frédéric Vervisch were the other drivers to sample the car, with the latter admitting it was an experience like no other.

“Other drivers had told me before that the touring cars generate a lot of downforce – I can now confirm that,” he said. “For me personally, that was the biggest change compared to a GT3 sports car or a TCR front-wheel-drive car. Chasing through the turns in the RS 5 DTM is really exciting. However, directly finding the limit wasn’t easy because you hardly notice the downforce in steering performance.”

Mike Rockenfeller and Nico Müller also in action to continue development work on the 2019-spec RS 5 complete with the new two-litre engine. Rockenfeller completed 211 laps across two days of running, with Müller than managing a mammoth 118 laps during a single day behind the wheel.

“This was another very good test for Audi Sport here at Jerez,” Project Leader Andreas Roos said. “All seven drivers did a very good job in our Audi RS 5 DTM. I was particularly pleased to see how excited they obviously were. Even someone like Sergey with Formula One experience under his belt had a grin on his face afterwards.

“With our test vehicle we were able to check off a lot of items on our test program list. We drove a total of 1,457 kilometers on these three days, and largely did so without any issues. Now we’re going to use the rather long winter break to analyze the data before we’ll return to Jerez in March for the next official pre-season DTM test.”