DTM: Testing at Portimão.
The clock is ticking.
The clock is now ticking towards the homologation of the DTM cars for the 2017 season on 1 March. First, though, the Mercedes-AMG DTM Team were preoccupied with the opening test session of the new year this week (21–23 February). It also constituted the last opportunity for trialling before the end of the homologation window. So there was a lot of testing to be done by the experienced DTM drivers and regular race-winners Gary Paffett, Paul Di Resta and Edoardo Mortara. Each of them spent one day in the cockpit of the Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM. Team Captain Gary Paffett went first on Tuesday. “It was good to be back in the car again after the winter,” said Gary, evidently satisfied with his first test outing of the year.
“We did a lot of kilometres, and we collected plenty of data on short runs and long runs. We looked at the tyres and also tried a few things on setup. It was a good first day, but I think that, as always, we still have a lot of work to do.”
There was a lot to do.
Paffett put in a total of 159 laps at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve. On Wednesday, it was the turn of his team-mate Paul Di Resta behind the wheel of the Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM. “It was fun to get a feel for the new generation of DTM cars,” said Paul, who completed 143 laps during the day.
“It’s tough, but I got a good impression. The homologation deadline is getting closer and closer, so there was a lot for us to do this week. Hopefully we have a great package to go forward and fight for the championship.”
Edoardo Mortara with second outing.
Edoardo Mortara concluded business on behalf of the team on the third and final day. For the Italian, it was a second outing in the Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM after his test debut at Jerez de la Frontera in December. “It’s always a nice feeling to get into the car for the first time in the new year,” said Edoardo after driving 146 laps during the day. “There was a lot to do on the setup, and working with the engineers and my team-mates went well. We help each other out and are fully motivated. We’re all pulling together, and I’m hopeful that we can be successful this year.”
Over the three-day visit to Portugal, the three Mercedes-AMG DTM drivers put in a grand total of 448 laps.
Preparations for the upcoming season.
Head of Mercedes-AMG DTM Ulrich Fritz was satisfied with the way the test week went: “With the homologation deadline approaching fast, our objective was to put in as many kilometres as possible and once again to try new things. We managed to do that on all three days, completing more than 140 laps each time. Now it’s important to draw the right conclusions from our findings and from the data we’ve collected.”
Despite the early homologation deadline of 1 March, the work for the team by no means stands still. On the contrary, preparations for the upcoming season and work in the factory at Affalterbach continue apace at this time of the year. And the next test sessions are due to take place soon: from 13 to 16 March, the DTM teams will be getting a run-out at Vallelunga in Italy. The final tests before the start of the season will be held during the week of 3–6 April at Hockenheim.