The Audi A5 captured two of those wins in the 2012 DTM Series; both with Italian driver Edoardo Mortara at the wheel. Mortara victories were the only Audi triumphs at the end of race weekends in the 2012 DTM Series. Compared to the 2011 season where Audi vehicles claimed a driver’s and team championship, 2012 was probably not the year the German premium car brand was bracing for with the Audi A5 DTM. When it comes to current motorsport history, Audi’s attention on the top spot has propelled the Le Mans prototype sports car program and most recently the Audi R8 Grand Am to success after relatively short struggles. Though the technical rules of DTM are frozen (preventing any mechanical or electronic enhancements to the Audi racecar carried over from 2012), the automaker believes a simple change in the vehicle’s personality for 2013 could be the kick-start to a more successful DTM season.
Instead of representing the A5 coupe nameplate, Audi has chosen to brand the 2013 DTM Series racecar with the RS 5 badge. Largely a symbolic name change, Audi’s choice for using the RS 5 on the 2013 DTM challenger actually relates more to the street-going model than it did to last year. Unlike with the A5 name, the RS 5 production car and the Audi DTM machine share the trait of V8 powerplants. While the engines differ by several degrees, the production and the race powerplants linked to the Audi RS 5 badge feature similar performance credentials. Belting out 450 horsepower, the Audi RS 5 coupe is separated by only a few horses from the DTM spec vehicle. In addition to engine power, both Audi vehicles are also equipped with sophisticated manual-type transmissions tailored to optimal acceleration and speed. All and all, the rebranding of Audi’s DTM car is instantly effective against the presence of the BMW M3 and Mercedes-Benz’s AMG moniker in the series.
Moving towards the start of the 2013 DTM season, the model name change is a good opportunity to highlight a major addition to the driving line-up of Audi Sport’s DTM operation. Coming from the Mercedes AMG team, British driver Jamie Green will be campaigning with the Four Ring badge in 2013. A competitor in DTM since 2005, the McLaren Autosport Award winning driver has eight career victories in touring car series. Last year, consistency allowed Jamie Green to claim third-place in the overall driver’s points behind teammate Gary Paffett and 2012 series champion Bruno Spengler.
Set to unleash a fleet of eight Audi RS 5 DTM cars at the May 5th series opening race at the Hockenheimring, Jamie Green joins an otherwise unchanged driver line-up. Green will be teammate to two-time DTM champion Mattias Ekström at Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline. Timo Scheider, Adrien Tambay, Miguel Molina, Mike Rockenfeller, Filipe Albuquerque and Edoardo Mortara are all set to return to Audi racecars now wearing the RS 5 nameplate.
Information and photo source: Audi AG