The DTM has announced that Aston Martin will be represented on the 2019 grid thanks to a new entry to be run by R-Motorsport and HWA.
R-Motorsport has an existing relationship with Aston Martin through its sportscar programme, with the new DTM project licensed and blessed by the British marque, although it is not a works-supported team.
Aston has also founded a joint venture with HWA AG and the partnership is responsible for the development, building and running of the DTM cars.
The DTM has confirmed that, development permitting, the new manufacturer will bring a car based on the Aston Martin Vantage for the 2019 season.
It means that the championship will have three marques represented on the grid after Mercedes signalled its intent to leave the series at the end of 2018 in favour of Formula E last year.
Audi and BMW have committed to the DTM for the foreseeable future and had been willing to make 2019 a bridging year by running extra cars to fill the gap left by Mercedes, with customer cars still expected next year.
“This decision of a luxury sports-car manufacturer such as Aston Martin is a historic event for our series and a milestone for the international orientation of DTM,” said Berger.
Berger added that the growing international ambitions of the DTM, which has now split its calendar by having half its races in Germany and the other five internationally, helped attract the Aston Martin entry.
The DTM has also merged with Super GT in regards to its regulations, under the Class One umbrella.
“I am convinced that the internationalisation- orientated cooperation of ITR and GTA [Super GT’s organisers] as well as Aston Martin’s decision to join DTM will have signalling effects for further manufacturers,” said Berger.
“The cooperation with GTA, the internationalisation of our platform and the acquisition of further brands represent some of our most important strategic goals.
“We will push the international expansion in compliance with teams and manufacturers, a development that is supposed to be underlined by an adaption of the name of the series from 2020.”
Dr Florian Kamelger, founder and co-owner of AF Racing AG and R-Motorsport team principal added: “We are delighted by joining together with Aston Martin in a renowned top series with international orientation.
“Competing with premium manufacturers represents a major challenge for our brand. The new technical regulations and the extended international orientations of the series were important reasons for our decision.”
BMW and Audi have welcomed R-Motorsport’s decision to join the DTM, with Audi motorsport boss Dieter Gass believing “that Aston Martin, Audi and BMW will make for thrilling top-class motor sport.
“We had tough times and we fought hard, with great support of all the manufacturers involved, ITR and – last but not least – Gerhard Berger.
“I’m happy that we now finally can announce the future involvement of Aston Martin and that the success story of DTM will be continued.”
BMW motorsport boss Jens Marquardt added that “our trust in the continuity of DTM and the numerous hours we worked jointly with ITR and Audi paid off”.
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