Audi will start the 2018 DTM season as both Drivers’ and Constructors’ reigning champion. Last year, four of its six drivers ended in the top 4 on the final standings, with Rene Rast winning the championship.
In 2018, the Ingolstadt manufacturer will have on its line-up five of the six drivers who did the 2017 season with them. Today, the brand has confirmed how will it distribute it among its three teams, with no major changes on them.
Audi Sport Team Rosberg, current Teams’ champion, is to line-up the same drivers than in 2017. Rast will defend the title with them, but the German driver has chosen the nº. 33 he had in 2017 rather than the nº. 1 he could have chosen as he claimed the title. The German driver became champion after winning three races and finish five times on the podium. His team mate will still be Jamie Green, who finished third last year, only six points behind Rast and won three races.
As for the Abt Sportsline team, it is the only one that changes a driver. As it was announced a few weeks ago, Mattias Ekström left the series after finsihing second in 2017, only three points behind Rast; to focus in the World Rallycross Championship. His replacement on the team will be Dutch driver Robin Frijns, who will make his debut on the series after succeding in Blancpain GT Series. Despite being his first season, he is well known for being a versatile driver who performs well in a wide range of championships. His team mate will be Nico Müller, who will do his fifth season on the series and the secodn with the team after finishing 12th in 2017.
Finally, the Audi Sport Team Phoenix will also have the two drivers it had in 2017. Mike Rockenfeller will do his twelfth season in the championship and will try to fight for his second title after being fourth last year; while Loïc Duval will try to improve after a tough debut season in 2017, when he finished last on the standings and only scored points twice. However, in one of those races he ended on the podium.
2018 DTM season will begin the 5th and 6th of May in Hockenheim Circuit.