The Ducati factory driver has prepared for his DTM adventure in the simulator and at a two-day test in Misano. “This is a completely new experience for me,” says the Italian. “The Audi RS 5 DTM has such incredible power and downforce – you can really feel it in the fast corners. The racing line is completely different than for a bike and it’s tricky to find the limit. I’m really looking forward to the weekend and I just want to enjoy it – without any expectations, because the level of competition in this championship is extremely high.”
“It’ll be very interesting to see how Andrea goes in the DTM,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass. “During the tests he had a very methodical and focused approach. But we know, of course, how hard the DTM is this year with the new turbo cars. And that’s why expectations should not be too high. It’s fantastic for Audi and motorsport fans that Andrea has taken time from his busy racing schedule to contest the DTM.”
Dovizioso drives the number 34 car at Misano flying the colors of Ducati. On hand as a coach is the long-standing Audi factory driver and two-time DTM champion Mattias Ekström, who shared valuable tips with the MotoGP star at the test drives.
Two spectacular DTM night races packed with overtaking maneuvers were held on the 4.226-kilometer race track at the Adriatic coast last year. This time, both races will be run in daylight at the usual time of 1.30 pm CEST.
“Last year’s races were great,” says Loïc Duval, who claimed his first DTM pole position at Misano in 2018. “The layout of the track is cool. There are different lines, which resulted in a lot of wheel-to-wheel action and overtaking. And in the medium and fast corners you really feel the power and the grip of our cars.”
Like his driver colleagues, Duval is excited about Andrea Dovizioso’s DTM debut: “I’m a big MotoGP fan. The races are great and extremely close. I’m constantly impressed by what the riders are capable of. They take huge risks and have incredible control over their bikes.”
The new DTM cars with their 610+ hp two-liter, four-cylinder turbo engines are not easy to master either. The Audi RS 5 DTM reaches speeds of up to 270 km/h at Misano. Particularly demanding is the long right-hander at the end of the back straight. “You drive at the absolute limit before you have to brake for the following hairpin,” describes Duval. “The car gets really twitchy there.”
Last year for Audi, Robin Frijns scored second at Saturday’s event – with a spectacular overtaking maneuver two turns before the flag – with René Rast claiming third at Sunday’s race. From the first four DTM races so far this season, Audi drivers have netted nine out of twelve possible podium finishes. Audi leads the manufacturers’ classification and René Rast is currently the most successful driver of the new turbo era with two victories under his belt. Heading to Misano, he is only five points off the leader. Audi Sport Team Rosberg ranks first in the teams’ classification.
Tickets and fan packages for the DTM at Misano are available online at www.audi.com/dtm. A visit to the Audi Thrill Zone in the DTM Fan Village is free for all visitors. It offers virtual races, autograph sessions, interviews and many other fan campaigns.