The new safety cell provides impact protection from all directions
In 2012, the most popular international touring car series started into a new era. With the comeback of BMW, DTM featured the prestigious battle of the three German premium car manufacturers. The new spectacular generation of cars, represented in the current season by the Audi RS5 DTM, BMW M3 DTM and the DTM AMG Mercedes C-Coupé, is even safer than its predecessors and more cost-effective at the same time. But first and foremost the new vehicles represent a guarantee for excellent and thrilling motor sport. The focal points for the creation of the new DTM regulations for the 2012 season and beyond were safety, cost-control, equal chances and show. In spite of significant cost reductions, equal chances for all competitors are guaranteed more than ever.. In the process, entertainment and competition are taking centre stage, alongside the safety aspect.
In order to achieve future-oriented DTM regulations, organisations and manufacturers involved cooperated in a unique way. The manufacturers competing in DTM, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, DTM’s supporting association, ITR, and the technical experts of the highest German motor-sport authority, DMSB, developed a fully revised set of rules. All parties involved took the time that was necessary for achieving this goal. For reasons of economical efficiency, technical development of the cars had been banned from 2009. The 2012 DTM cars – that weren’t allowed to be significantly refined, for the 2013 season – fully meet the tradition of the most popular international touring car series but still feature a wealth of innovations.
CAD drawing of the new safety cell
“For all three premium manufacturers, one elementary common goal already became apparent in the initial talks about the technical regulations of the ’new’ DTM, and that was safety. After all, we care about the safety of our drivers and for us, there are no compromises in this respect. We are very proud of the collective development of this very high safety standard with joint resources”, BMW’s head of motorsport, Jens Marquardt, concluded, thus highlighting the point of view of the manufacturers involved. In the DTM, safety has always had priority. Proof of this, among others, is the fact that even serious accidents in DTM history didn’t have major consequences. Accordingly, the main goal of the net DTM regulations was to incorporate all the safety innovations that were available and to largely exceed the existing safety standards. To this end, the new DTM cars underwent more crash tests conducted by FIA and DMSB than ever before.
Testing the new crash elements
One of the biggest revolutions of the current DTM cars are the standard safety structures designed to protect the driver in case of an accident. Next to the six crash elements at the sides, the front and the rear, the combination of the standard monocoque and roll cage with integrated safety tank protects the driver better in case of an accident. Moreover, the seat, similar to single-seater race cars, was integrated into the carbon fibre monocoque that is connected to a roll cage of high-strength steel. This innovative safety cell is the heart of all the DTM cars.