And yes, Porsche Museum, I do feel old.
You glorious orb, the sun. You are blasting down on me in the middle of a dry summer day, and I scorn you so viciously. And how much I miss you during the gloomy winter months. Oh, sun, how ruthlessly we fluctuate when it is your might that never changes. Such is the situation facing DTM racing team Abt, which is currently accusing its competitors in the series of forcibly exploiting sunlight to heat up its tires.
The German touring car championship, DTM, outlawed using tire blankets to warm up tires before to race, which is the fundamental cause of the controversy. The goal is to reduce complexity, expense, and energy usage. Not only the DTM series does it, either. There is none tire warmers in IndyCar, F1 doesn’t use them for wet tires (and keeps debating an outright ban), and teams at the Spa 24 Hours had to deal with the same restriction this year, too.
The issue is that tires require warming up before racing on them. When tires are warmed up, they perform at their peak, making the initial period of driving on cold tires challenging, if not risky.
Teams are prohibited from leaving their tires in the sun at any time, with the exception of wheeling tires onto the grid, according to a clarification from DTM. The series says that “teams are therefore obliged to make every effort to protect the wheels from sunlight.”
My favourite recent rule-bending debate in racing is without a doubt this one. There isn’t a magic trick, a flexible wing, or anything else. There is only the sun. I’m done now! The lines between what constitutes an unfair advantage are so thin in racing.
Awful sun How vehemently we disagree with you! How eagerly we seek out shade in the midst of the heat. Yet how much we long for your warmth in our cold hours, how we long for you when you are not there.