Akrapovič will be joining forces with Audi Sport during this season’s Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) as Mike Rockenfeller takes to the wheel of a unique Akrapovič Audi RS 5 DTM racing car in one of the world’s most exciting and competitive car racing championships.
Featuring a striking livery fully adorned with the Akrapovič logos, Rockenfeller – known affectionately as Rocky – will debut this Audi Sport Team Phoenix racing car during the first weekend of May at the Hockenheimring in Germany. The Akrapovič Audi RS 5 DTM marks a celebration to recognise 10 years of partnership in motorsport between the Slovenian exhaust specialists and Audi Sport. This collaboration has seen five wins for Audi Sport LMP1 cars using lightweight Akrapovič titanium exhaust systems at the 24 Hours of Le Mans between 2010 and 2014, along with championships in the DTM series, including the 2013 title for Rockenfeller and the 2017 trophy for René Rast. The bond between Akrapovič and the German marque is further strengthened through Audi Sport giving Akrapovič its first world championship title on four wheels, when an Audi R18 e-tron quattro equipped with a titanium exhaust raced to victory in the 2012 FIA WEC championship. This feat was then repeated in 2013.
The Akrapovič Audi RS 5 DTM will be joined on the 2019 DTM grid by five other Akrapovič-equipped RS 5 DTM machines. These cars have an Akrapovič exhaust system developed for 2019 between Audi Sport and Akrapovič. This is a completely original and innovative system because new regulations will see turbochargers returning to the series for the first time since 1987. These finely tuned engines will have a two-litre capacity with direct injection, in place of last season’s 4.0L V8 naturally aspirated engines, and the new powerplants will have an exhaust exiting on the right side of the car. This season promises lots of excitement because the new turbocharged engines will produce 610 hp, the most powerful cars ever raced in DTM, and among other new things will feature a bigger rear wing with DRS (Drag Reduction System) and a Push-to-Pass function with extra power for overtaking.
The Akrapovič Audi RS 5 DTM will make its racing debut at the Hockenheimring during the weekend of 3–5 May before the championship heads to seven more European circuits: Zolder (Belgium), Misano (Italy), Norisring (Germany), Assen (Netherlands), Brands Hatch (UK), Lausitzring (Germany), and Nürburgring (Germany). This will be followed by the culmination of the season back at the Hockenheimring on the weekend of 4–6 October, when the Akrapovič colours on the Audi RS 5 DTM will be competing for championship success.
Romolo Liebchen, Head of Purchasement, Qualitycontrol and Partnerships Audi Motorsport, Audi AG:
“We are proud to have Akrapovič as our partner for 10 years now. Our partnership is not only a sponsorship, which means having a full branded car for the DTM season 2019. Furthermore we develop our exhaust systems together and could realize some projects for Audi’s production cars.”
Uroš Rosa, Akrapovič d.d. CEO:
The beginnings of Akrapovič’s partnership with Audi Sport were humble, but always involved great respect for each other’s skills and knowledge. The dedication to strive for the best performance, lightweight design, and endurance has carried us to many successes. Le Mans victories with the R15 TDI plus, R18 TDI, and R18 e-tron quattro racing cars were memorable, and future victories in the DTM turbo era will be the next milestone. Therefore I’m really proud that in our tenth year we are having a fully Akrapovič branded Audi RS 5 DTM. Supplier-purchaser relationships come and go, but true partnerships last for a long time. Thanks to everyone at Audi Sport for these amazing 10 years.