BMW has confirmed that Jonathan Aberdein will join the manufacturer for the DTM in 2020, marking a switch from independent Audi machinery to factory BMW for the South African.
Aberdein, 21, joined the DTM at the start of the 2019 season, racing a private Audi RS5 DTM for the Belgian WRT team.
The South African impressed in his first year, claiming a best result of fourth at Assen and the Nürburgring to end the year tenth overall in the drivers’ standings – beating a number of factory BMW drivers in the process.
Aberdein had been contracted to Audi for 2020, to act as a reserve driver in DTM and Formula E, and he had been understood to have been likely to race at the Norisring event as well.
However, he has now elected to jump ship to BMW for a full season in his second year in the DTM.
“I am delighted that we have been able to give our last free DTM works seat to such a promising and extremely talented young racing driver as Jonathan Aberdein,” said BMW Group Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt.
“He demonstrated his potential emphatically in last season’s DTM, when he repeatedly challenged his fellow works drivers and often beat them.
“I am confident that he will be a great addition to our strong driver line-up.
“Generally speaking, with our two newcomers Jonathan Aberdein and Lucas Auer joining our four established drivers, we have assembled an outstanding team.”
Aberdein is looking forward to tackling his first season in tin tops as a factory-backed driver, and his second in the DTM overall.
“BMW has given me an incredible opportunity to become a BMW works driver in 2020 and I’m very thankful for that”, said Aberdein.
“I’m ecstatic to be participating in another season of DTM, I will be looking to build on my strong rookie year in 2019. I look forward to taking on this challenge with BMW.”