R Motorsport has confirmed that 2010 DTM champion Paul di Resta and sportscar racer Jake Dennis will race two of its Aston Martin Vantage DTM cars this year.
Di Resta will therefore retain links with the HWA outfit, who are working with Swiss team R Motorsport on the project licenced by the British manufacturer.
“I’ve seen what Aston Martin Racing has done in WEC,” said di Resta. “However, the DTM project of R-Motorsport running the Aston Martin Vantages DTM cars under the exclusive license of the British manufacturer is something special.
“And, with the Valkyrie, it’s building what will almost certainly become the defining new supercar in the world.”
With the project having been only announced at the tail end of 2018 and the team not having had the extensive pre-season preparations of rivals BMW and Audi, di Resta is being cautious about the upcoming season.
“To be perfectly honest, I was convinced from my very first meeting with Florian [Kamelger, R-Motorsport Team Principal] and Andreas [Baenziger].
“We had a 20-minute chat over a cup of coffee in the paddock last year, and I was immediately convinced of their ambition and passion for this project.
“It’s worth remembering that I’ve also worked with HWA since my Formula 3 days, and I strongly believe they’re the stand-out organisation in every series they contest.
“They were one of the big reasons behind Mercedes’ DTM success, and I’ve got absolute trust and belief that R-Motorsport can do the job.
“After Mercedes’ withdrawal last year, R-Motorsport’s Aston Martin announcement really lifted everyone’s spirits – everyone’s so eager to be part of this, and, believe me, they mean serious business. The whole organisation is totally professional and 100 per cent focused. I think we can do this.
“Coming in at ground level with an all-new DTM brand was one of the main things I discussed with R-Motorsport when we started the initial talks.
“It won’t be an easy task: we’re a relatively small outfit up against two of the best manufacturers in the world, but they need me to help the development of the project. I know what I can bring to this, and I believe this is going to be good.
“Yes, we’re late to the party, but with a good pre-season, we can get on top of things. I expect us to be there at the first race challenging for the win. I believe that’s a realistic target, and I think we have to go into the first race with that mentality.”
Di Resta will be joined by 23-year-old touring car rookie Jake Dennis, who is the second driver to be announced with the Aston Martin squad.
“Getting into the DTM is a big step in my career,” said Dennis. “I’m really up for the challenge, and I know I have to prove myself in this competition. I’m really looking forward to developing as a driver – DTM is the perfect place for me to learn.”
Dennis already has strong links with R Motorsport and in February he finished second in the Bathurst 12 Hours race in an R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage V12.
R-Motorsport Team Principal Kamelger welcomed Dennis into the team’s DTM line-up.
“Jake is a great talent and has shown it GT3. He was a reliable leader for us last year – we know exactly what he can do, and think he’ll quickly establish himself in DTM.”