Aston Martin to join DTM grid in 2019 with R-Motorsport

Aston Martin to join DTM grid in 2019 with R-Motorsport

Aston Martin DTM
Photo: ITR

British sportscar manufacturer Aston Martin will join the DTM grid in 2019, with British team R-Motorsport fielding Aston Martin Vantage cars at some stage during next season.

Whilst no firm date for the team’s début has been confirmed, a statement released by DTM organiser ITR said that “should the development of the racing cars based on the Aston Martin Vantage progress as scheduled, the squad could contest its first races as early as 2019.”

Both Audi and BMW have publicly stated on several occasions that their continued participation in the series was contingent on a third manufacturer entering the series, following Mercedes-Benz’s withdrawal after this weekend’s season finale at Hockenheim.

It is the first time since Alfa Romeo competed in the series in the 1990s that a non-German brand has been represented in the tin-top series.

“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 ITR Chairman Gerhard 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.”

R-Motorsport has close ties to Aston Martin Lagonda, and has predominantly focussed on GT racing to-date.

AF Racing will be responsible for the preparation of the cars, in association with HWA, after a joint venture was set up by the two firms in the Summer, which hinted strongly at the DTM project.

It has not yet been confirmed how many cars will be entered, nor the drivers who are involved in the new project. A number of current Mercedes drivers are looking for alternative drives in 2019 after the brand’s exit, with all having a close relationship with HWA.

Berger stressed the importance in welcoming a non-German brand to the series for the plans to improve the international appeal of the DTM – including a potential name change in 2020.

“I am convinced that the internationalisation-orientated cooperation of ITR and GTA [Super GT umbrella organisation] as well as Aston Martin’s decision to join DTM will have signalling effects for further manufacturers.

“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.”

AF Racing founder and co-owner Dr Florian Kamelger, who is also the R-Motorsport Team Principal, says that the international ambition of DTM attracted the outfit to the series.

“We are delighted with joining together with Aston Martin a renowned top series with international orientation,” said Kamelger. “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.”