Vital Contribution to Safety and Fair Competition on the Race Track

16. Apr 2019

The new German Touring Car Championship (DTM) season kicks off this week with the ITR Test. Just three weeks before the first racing weekend in Hockenheim, the teams have gathered at the DEKRA Lausitzring race track in the south of Brandenburg, Germany. It is a particularly fitting way to start the 2019 season, as the DTM and DEKRA are linked by a partnership that stretches back 30 years. In other words, when DEKRA joined the DTM, the current champion Gary Paffett was just seven years old.

DEKRA experts have been working for safety and fair competition in the DTM for 30 years.
  • Season kicks off this week with the ITR Test at the DEKRA Lausitzring
  • DEKRA experts responsible for technical acceptance inspections
  • Berger: “Exceptionally valuable partner for the DTM”

“The experts at DEKRA have played a vital role in the DTM for decades, when it comes to ensuring safety and a level playing field,” explains Gerhard Berger, Chairman of DTM umbrella organization ITR. “As technical specialists, they monitor compliance with the regulations in partnership with the German Motor Sport Federation (DMSB) and have also been involved in the development of the Technical Regulations, contributing their vital expertise. In short: They do a highly professional job. That’s why DEKRA – as well as being a series sponsor for many years – is an exceptionally valuable partner for the DTM.”

The technical acceptance inspections that DEKRA experts carried out at the DTM when they first started in 1989 bear very little resemblance to what the experts do nowadays on racing weekends. When compared directly, the increasingly professional standards are more than evident.

“While in the beginning a single colleague would have worked in a small tent behind the measuring platform with minimal equipment, today we have a team of nine specialists on site,” says DEKRA Motor Sports Coordinator Wolfgang Dammert. “Most of the team members come from the DEKRA Technology Center here at the Lausitzring and are in the thick of things in their ‘day job’, too, testing driving dynamics, exhaust emissions and other things outside of motor sport.”

The equipment has also changed a lot over the past three decades. Today, the DEKRA experts arrive at the track with a semi-trailer, which is full of high-tech equipment and also serves as an office and control center for the scrutineers. The highly sensitive 3D measuring arm, which is used to monitor the tolerances in the regulations for the bodies of the racing cars, as well as the position of standard components, has been a vital piece of equipment for some years now.

Progress has been constant over the past 30 years. “Each new racing season, each new change in the regulations has always brought new challenges – including in the technical acceptance inspections,” recalls Dammert. “We always tackle these challenges head on – and this season will be no different.” The focus in 2019, in light of the new Technical Regulations and the intended internationalization of the DTM, is on the new four-cylinder turbo engines and the monitoring of their performance in particular. “For us, that means more engine data needs to be read out and monitored,” explains the DEKRA Motor Sports Coordinator. “But we are prepared for the challenge and are excited to get started again.”

The partnership between the DTM and DEKRA has two main goals: First and foremost to ensure the safety of everyone involved and to make sure that there is a level playing field for all participants. The current safety concept for the racing series with the monocoque as a central safety element, as well as front, rear and side crash elements, has been developed and implemented with the support of DEKRA. All static and dynamic tests for development and homologation have been carried out by DEKRA in its FIA and DMSB-accredited inspection and test centers. Thanks to the joint efforts of all parties involved, there have been no serious consequences from accidents in recent years.

“The DTM is the premium touring car racing series in Europe and therefore the perfect platform for us. Here, we can contribute and showcase our knowledge and core expertise as one of the world’s leading expert organizations,” says Clemens Klinke, Member of the Management Board at DEKRA. “We are extremely proud of the fact that we have made a significant contribution to safety and ensuring fair competition in the DTM over the past 30 years, especially as solutions from the world of motor sport frequently influence the development of mass-produced cars and therefore road safety in general.”