Audi is upset over a penalty handed down to them for an engine infraction at the Lausitzring last weekend, and is none too happy that its DTM competitors Mercedes-Benz and BMW agree with the decision made by the sport’s sanctioning body.
According to RACER, Audi Sport team members Jamie Green and Mattias Ekstrom’s engines sustained damage at Hockenheim the week prior to the start of the Lausitzring race. Manufacturers are allowed nine engines for use among their eight drivers throughout the season, allowing either Green or Ekstrom to use the spare ninth engine and forcing Audi to repair the other.
This is where things get dicey. Resealing an engine during the season means the driver using the power unit will have to start at the rear of the grid. However Audi argues the engine only sustained external damage and they did not have to reseal it. Repairing the engine still resulted in a penalty being given to them by the DMSB, though.
“There’s no engine problem, not a mechanical problem itself in the engine, but there was external damage due to contact with a curb, probably,” said Audi’s Dieter Gass. “We repaired the engines under supervision of the DMSB, which you can do, but you still have to break the seals and when you break the seals the next time you use this engine you start from the back, which we did.”
Audi became upset with Mercedes and BMW when they did not support the automaker in its argument that it should not receive a penalty, as it didn’t break the engine’s seals. Gass said he “didn’t understand,” the lack of support from his fellow manufacturers as they “often try to help eachother in DTM.” Audi also noted Mercedes was allowed to make major enhancements to their struggling C-Class DTM during the 2014 season, a decision it didn’t argue with at the time.
Mercedes said it’s best to “stick to the rules and regulations,” when speaking on the matter.
“The regulations say that in the case of an accident, you are potentially allowed to change the engines without a penalty, but from our side we couldn’t see an accident there,” said Mercedes DTM boss Ulrich Fritz.
“That is our position and I think BMW had the same position.”