Exploring Nuremberg and DTM Norisring Track in A5 Sportback - Audi Forums
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Exploring Nuremberg and DTM Norisring Track in A5 Sportback

For Audi Sports enthusiasts, Nuremberg, Germany has a very special meaning. This 11th century town, the largest town in Franconia, is only 92 km from Ingolstadt. Because of its proximity to Audi factory, the DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) Norisring track in this town is the venue of Audi's home race. The track itself is very special; it is the only temporary street circuit in DTM. The unique atmosphere bestowed by nearby Roman castles, medieval fortification walls, gingerbread houses, and Pegnitz River and Rhine-Main-Danube Canal attracts over 140,000 spectators. Some people refer this track as Little Monaco...

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Nowadays, this swoopy-roof sporty sedan is called four-door coupe. Smaller than the more luxurious and bigger four-door coupe brother A7, A5 Sportback has the same wheelbase as A4. But, 1.42-inches-lower stance and wider track than A4, four frameless doors, sweeping roof line, and counter-swing tail give A5 Sportback unmistakably an athletic aura. Additionally, this A5 is equipped with front bumper air splitter and rear bumper air diffuser. This optional body kit provides this car not only DTM styling but also aerodynamic advantages. A5 Sportback has the same identical front and rear ends as the ones of A5 Couple. The famous side Tornado Line that defines A5 Coupe and Cabriolet stays distinctive despite its additional length. The line creates a visual effect of motion even when the car stands still...

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Very rare a car manufacturer can repeat its success by stretching or shortening dimensions of a car to introduce a new model. It takes more than a vision to continually and consistently produce master pieces. Even with hard work and dedication, it is still not enough. It takes something intangible. Whether it is courage or intuition or passion or all of them, it is what gives every line, curve, and angle purpose. That's why this A5 Sportback is as exciting and convincing as A5 Coupe and Cabriolet. In the stop and go town traffic, the eco features of this car become apparent quickly. Audi Start-Stop feature eliminates fuel consumption and CO2 emission at traffic lights as the engine automatically shuts down. As soon as the clutch is pressed and the brake is released, in a lighting speed, the engine starts. It is ready to accelerate before I finish putting the transmission into the first gear and applying my right foot on the accelerator...

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Additionally, Audi Recuperation System recovers energy during braking and deceleration and stores it temporarily in the battery. This eco technology converts kinetic energy during deceleration into electrical energy. When the car accelerates again, the battery, that stores the recouped energy, gives the energy back to the engine relieving the alternator. The less the alternator is engaged, the less fuel the car consumes. The combination of Start-Stop and Recuperation features delivers a noticeable fuel saving and CO2 emission reduction.On cobblestone roads this A5 Sportback is comfortable despite its sport suspension setup. Typically, sport-rated spring and shock absorber provide precise handling on race track but they give harsh and rattling ride on pimpled city roads. To solve the harsh ride and to keep the precise handling A5 Sportback features five-link front suspension and trapezoidal-link rear suspension. The five-link suspension setup isolates road harness and vibration and hence improves the ride quality. The self-tracking, trapezoidal-link rear suspension provides racing-inspired stiffness ensuring precise handling and, at the same time, this setup allows control arm components to absorb forces from harsh roads...

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Furthermore, Aluminum is extensively used in both front and rear suspension components to reduce unspurng mass at each wheel, allowing suspension to respond rapidly. Specialized rubber and metal bushings are individually tuned to balance racing-precision handling and daily driver comfort. The total net effect of the above Audi engineers' obsession is a precise and yet comfortable driving experience that is unique to Audi. Thanks to Servotronic steering, maneuvering through tide corners, narrow two-way streets, and cramped underground parking garages is a child-play. The same system, that enables such driving ease at low speed, instills confidence and delivers accurate steering in autobahn high speed driving. This is possible because the power steering regulates the power assist based on speed and a few other data from the electronic-sensing system that monitors wheel slippage on all corners. Combined with Audi ESP (Electronic Stability Program) and electronic front differential lock, A5 steering system increases agility and prevents understeer...

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This A5 is equipped with the 3G MMI featuring 3D topography of buildings and streets, real-time traffic reporting, and turn-by-turn information, and map in split screen mode. Augmented with audible route-guidance, the 3D MMI allows me to understand the instruction a lot faster than the traditional navigational system does, hence, I have more time to prepare for and make the turn in the old town narrow street maze with confidence...

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At dusk, we head to the famous Norisring track located just a stone throw away from the old town in the southeast corner of Nuremberg. This temporary city track is the second shortest circuit in DTM, measuring only 2.3 km long. With today's technologies, one lap is shorter than 50 seconds. From start to finish, Audi DTM drivers will pass the grandstand 82 times. Despite the fact that Norisring has only four corners, this city track has attributes that are not found in a regular race tracks, and the track gives serious challenges to drivers and mechanics. The very short track requires drivers to be in constant change between maximum acceleration and maximum braking. Audi mechanics must tune the car suspension with little camber and weigh distribution with rear bias to optimize acceleration after slow negotiation at U-turn and chicane. Brake performance must be monitored constantly through the telemetry system as the brake can heat up to 800 degree Celsius. At this track, drivers and equipments must endure 2G force over 80 times throughout the race when they have to decelerate from 250 km/h to 45km/h...

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Secondly, the street track is made of many different sections that were constructed with different materials. At one section, the surface is as rough as the face of teenagers with pimples, and at another part, the asphalt is as smooth as the championship basket ball court. To top that, weather condition will change the friction coefficient of the different track sections, making the decision on tire compound selection and tire pressure so much harder. It is not a skill that can be learned from a text book, but it is the many years of drivers-and-mechanics racing experience that produces the winners.Given these extra challenges, Norisring has door-to-door battles, nail-biting passes, and devastating dropouts. Hundreds of a second delay in braking decision by the lead driver can lead him into unyielding concrete barriers. Braking a few thousand of a second too soon, he may be exiting a corner in the opponent`s rear view mirror. All of these provide hair-raising dramas to over 140,000 visitors and over 2.8 million TV viewers yearly...

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We end our Nuremberg exploration by tracing the Norisring track as close as we can in our A5 Sportback. We drive through the right hand sweeper and the left hand U-turn at Grundig tower, and back in a sweeper towards the Schöller-S righ-left chicane. A back straight is followed by a right hand kink and then a left U-turn leading back the main straight. Images of DTM Nourisring racing videos fill our minds. We really appreciate the amount of racing experiences that have gone into Audi production cars. And that's one of many reasons we love our Audi...

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