BMW has confirmed that former Mercedes racer Lucas Auer will return to the DTM with the marque in 2020, whilst Joel Eriksson will depart the brand after two years in the series.
Auer made his DTM début with Mercedes in 2015, remaining with the marque for the next four seasons. The Austrian won his first race in 2016 at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz, before going on to challenge for the title in 2017 when he won three races.
The 25-year-old left the series at the end of 2018 when Mercedes pulled out of the DTM, going on to race in the Japanese Super Formula Series, where he finished ninth overall after one podium.
“I am really excited about returning to the DTM with BMW,” said Auer. “During my career, I have been in contact with BMW Motorsport on several occasions, but it all came together this time.
“I am counting down the days until I get into the car for the first time.
“I took a big step forward personally last year in Japan. The key now will be to adapt quickly to the DTM again. However, I am not worried about that.”
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt is expecting Auer’s DTM experience to pay dividends with the manufacturer next year.
“Welcome back to the DTM, Lucas Auer,” said Marquardt. “I am obviously particularly happy, not only to be able to welcome him back to the DTM, but also to welcome him into the BMW family.
“In his 73 DTM races so far, Lucas has emphatically shown what he is capable of and, with four wins and ten podiums, has proven that he can mix it at the very front of the field.
“We believe that he will fit in very well with us, not only because of his huge potential as a driver, but also his friendly nature.”
Joel Eriksson to depart BMW’s DTM line-up
BMW has also confirmed that Marco Wittmann, Philipp Eng, Timo Glock and Sheldon van der Linde will remain with the brand in 2020, whilst confirming the departure of Joel Eriksson after two seasons, with the Swede racing in the Asian Le Mans Series in a BMW M6 GT3 for FIST-Team AAI at present.
“We have gone for continuity with four of our drivers for next season,” explained Marquardt.
“With his speed and incredible consistency, Marco Wittmann is a top performer in our DTM squad every season. He nearly always makes the very most of any opportunities he gets.
“Timo Glock was very unfortunate last season. However, there is no doubting his pace at the wheel of the BMW M4 DTM.
“Philipp Eng performed fantastically in 2019, particularly in the first half of the season. Hopefully he can build on that next year.
“Sheldon van der Linde impressed us in his rookie season. We see great potential in him, which he will hopefully fulfil more often in 2020.
“I would like to thank Joel Eriksson for the great cooperation over the past two years in the DTM. I wish him all the best for the future.
“We enjoyed some highlights with him and are currently discussing further joint commitments as part of our GT engagement.”