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DTM trialing lower-carbon high-performance racing fuel with Audi and Aston Martin

The DTM has initiated a long-term development program for a emission-reduced high-performance fuel, beginning with trials at this weekend’s season finale, at the Hockenheimring (4-6 October).

The special fuel, developed by long-time series partner Aral, consists of 50% high-quality renewable components derived from waste products. As a result, it has a carbon footprint more than 30% lower than gasoline manufactured entirely from petroleum.

This fuel will be evaluated at Hockenheim by Audi and Aston Martin in the race-taxis used during the weekend support program for competition winners, VIPs and prominent guests for unique, high-speed passenger rides.

Audi will use its 2017 Audi RS 5 DTM race-taxi, fitted with an additional passenger seat; R-Motorsport will use an Aston Martin Vantage GT4 race car.

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For the pilot test at Hockenheim, one of the two Audi RS 5 DTM race taxis will be provided with a conspicuous special livery featuring logos from Aral and the inscription: “THE NEXT STEP.”


Following extensive dyno testing, the aim of this weekend’s pilot trial is to understand the performance and potential of a more environmentally friendly high-performance fuel in representative race engines.

This new formulation mirrors the high-quality performance levels of Aral Ultimate 102, the fuel used in the DTM. It not only maintains the same high-octane rating required by the DTM, but also meets the requirements of the legal fuel norm, DIN EN 228.

Audi has set itself the ambitious goal of successively achieving a reduction of about 30% of vehicle-specific CO2 emissions by 2025. Obviously, electric mobility plays a major role in this context. However, we still have a large fleet of passenger cars using classic internal combustion engines in existence worldwide that will be with us for many more years. By using low carbon fuels, a really noticeable CO2 reduction could be achieved for these cars without having to make technical changes. It’s great that motorsport is once again playing a pioneering role. We are excited about the idea of reducing CO2 emissions through the use of waste.

We did not have to make any modifications to the DTM engine and have not had the slightest problem on the test bench so far. We are proving that low carbon fuels are also suitable for racing engines.

—Ulrich Baretzky, Head of Engine Development at Audi Motorsport

Audi has also been researching alternative fuels for road car production for several years. The company is working independently on projects for the production of e-gas, e-diesel and e-gasoline. (earlier post)

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Audi 2.0 TFSI DTM 2019. The newly developed more than 610-hp, two-liter, four-cylinder turbo engine.


Following a successful first trial at Hockenheim, the next step is to continue testing using race-taxis throughout the 2020 DTM season.

This pilot project is part of a rich program for the future aimed at the introduction of sustainable drive technologies to the DTM. And, as part of that process, our scope will expand from greener fuels to include a greater focus on hybrid drive.

—Achim Kostron, managing director DTM ITR

ITR has already begun a hybrid-drive specification process with a number of prospective technical partners. For budgetary reasons, all hybrid-system components will be produced as control components for every DTM car, and will be used in conjunction with the current four-cylinder turbo-charged engines.

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