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“I’ve never experienced this before”: This is how the McLaren test pemiere in the DTM went

What was so extraordinary about the DTM test debut of the brand-new McLaren, why the tires smoke when driving off and how the Dörr team assesses itself

Fire test for the McLaren’s DTM premiere: The Dörr squad completed a total of 189 laps during the official DTM test at the Hockenheimring on Tuesday and Wednesday, although the two brand-new 720S GT3 Evo had never driven apart from a functional test at a driving technique center. “We still have a lot to learn,” says team founder Rainer Dörr. “But we are happy with where we are now. “

While rookie Ben Dörr was primarily concerned with gaining experience with the unfamiliar vehicle, the experienced Clemens Schmid was the guinea pig.
“I’ve never experienced a car being modified so much,” said the Austrian after the chequered flag on Wednesday evening.

“We really tried out everything we could do at some point. I’m very satisfied, it was very productive. Now we know that a few things work – and a few that they don’t. “

Why the McLaren partially touched down

Watchers in the Sachs corner on Wednesday morning noticed that Schmid’s car was particularly low in the 45-minute session and repeatedly touched down at the front. “We tried different vehicle heights – from the maximum to the minimum,” confirmed Schmid.

But that was not the only topic of the comparison tests: a lot of changes were also made to the suspension. “We tried a few different springs and different pads,” says Rainer Dörr. “Toe and camber settings, differential settings – whatever you can do.”

Although the times should not be overestimated, Schmid finished 13th overall on both test days with a 1:38.028, 0.951 seconds off the pace. Ben Dörr was 19th and penultimate, 1.419 seconds behind

What teething troubles occurred on the second day

The focus for Dörr was not on finding the perfect set-up for Hockenheim, where they will not be racing until October, but on getting to know the car. “The car reacted as expected to everything we did,” says Schmid, giving the car the thumbs up.

It is impressive that the McLaren cars ran smoothly on the first day of testing, before there were a few teething problems on the second day: Ben Dörr missed the short first session due to a technical problem, and in the late afternoon the mechanics had to lend a hand with Schmid’s car, knocking noises could be heard coming from the pits.

“The door has become very slightly loose. And with this car, the door is half the car,” grins Schmid. It was also noticeable that the McLaren took off with smoking tires after every pit stop exercise and made for impressive images. “But that’s not particularly fast. We still have to find something,” says Schmid, referring to the launch control settings.

What result Schmid would be satisfied with

Apart from driving off, the newly assembled team, which includes mechanics from the Project 1 team, practiced pit stops eagerly in Hockenheim. Now they will continue with two days of testing in Oschersleben before things get serious in two weeks’ time and the season opener is on the agenda.

“If we finish around ninth to eleventh in qualifying at Oschersleben, that would be a very good result,” says Schmid, who knows that the angled layout is a challenge for the turbo car. “We’ll have to see if the car performs like it did in the test at Hockenheim. “

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