Both Audi and BMW have welcomed the news that Aston Martin are to enter the DTM from 2019, saying that the news of the future involvement of the British brand ‘guarantees motor racing at a high sporting and technical level’.
Both brands had been insistent on the future involvement of a third manufacturer, as a minimum, in the German touring car series.
The announcement that R-Motorsport are to enter the Aston Martin Vantage cars in the future meets that requirement, leaving both of the German brands happy, following the announcement of Mercedes departure in 2017 which shook the series.
“Welcome Aston Martin in DTM,” said Head of Audi’s DTM programme Dieter Gass. “We are looking forward to having AF Racing in cooperation with the tradition-rich brand Aston Martin aboard.
“Thanks to this step it’s guaranteed that DTM will provide motor racing at a high sporting and technical level, with premium manufacturers on the grid.
“I believe 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 Director Jens Marquardt said that the Munich marque had taken the step to commit to DTM early on, after the announcement of Mercedes’ exit, to enable some certainty in the future direction of the series.
“Welcome in DTM, Aston Martin! The news of Aston Martin entering DTM is great for the series and the fans,” said Marquardt. “This step gives all those involved planning reliability.
“After the surprising announcement of Mercedes to retire from DTM we early committed to the series and promised the fans to fight for its future. And we did so successfully.
“Our trust in the continuity of DTM and the numerous hours we worked jointly with ITR and Audi paid off. We really have to thank Gerhard Berger whose tireless efforts proved to be successful.
“Aston Martin are well respected and appreciated competitors in GT racing. We are delighted with having the opportunity to now also race against them in DTM.
“Due to the ‘CLASS 1’ regulations and the international prospects for DTM, the past months already were filled with an optimistic atmosphere.
“And thanks to the involvement of Aston Martin, the lights definitely are switched to green. Now we should fully focus on the racing.”
The season finale of the 2108 DTM takes place at the Hockenheimring this weekend, with outgoing manufacturer Mercedes in prime position to lift the drivers’ title.