Robert Kubica will reunite with the BMW brand in the 2020 DTM, after the Polish driver secured a drive with indepdent customer team ART Grand Prix for the forthcoming season.
Kubica, 35, had been linked with a BMW drive for several months, and the former Formula 1 driver took part in the marque’s young driver test at Jerez in December at the wheel of a BMW M4 DTM.
All six factory-backed BMW drivers had already been announced, with South African Jonathan Aberdein confirmed last week, leaving a private entity the only remaining option for Kubica.
ART previously competed in the DTM with Mercedes between 2015 and 2016, before it withdrew and focussed on single seater competition.
The French team has confirmed just the one M4 DTM for Kubica, who becomes the seventh BMW driver on the grid.
Kubica’s entry is funded by his personal sponsor PKN Orlen, and the Pole will continue to act as a reserve driver for the Alfa Romeo Formula One team.
“The DTM has appealed to me for a long time – and the test in December at Jerez de la Frontera really gave me a taste for more,” said Kubica.
“I am really looking forward to starting this new chapter in my motorsport career. I believe the DTM is one of the strongest and best race series in the world.
“I immediately felt at home in the BMW M4 DTM at the test. ART Grand Prix has been a big name on the international motor racing scene for years. I am sure we can achieve a lot together in the DTM.
“We obviously still have to gain experience compared to the established DTM teams, but we will work hard to ensure that we improve all the time. I can hardly wait to race in the DTM.”
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt welcomed Kubica to the Munich manufacturer’s DTM family, as well as the addition of another car to take the grid to 15 cars following the withdrawal of the R Motorsport privateer Aston Martins last month.
“This is really great news for the DTM,” said Marquardt. “We are delighted to welcome ART Grand Prix to the DTM as a private customer team.
“It has always been our goal to make the DTM field even larger and more attractive with privately-run BMW M4 DTMs.
“There were several options and we have held many discussions with potential teams in recent months. Considering all the aspects, we opted for the package provided by ART Grand Prix.
“After the test in Spain last December, Robert Kubica made no secret of the fact that he could imagine a future in the DTM.
“It is great that ART Grand Prix is now allowing him the opportunity to contest the 2020 season in a BMW M4 DTM.
“Robert showed during the test that is very good in a DTM car. He is a real asset to the series. We have our fingers crossed for ART Grand Prix and Robert, and hope they have a successful DTM season.”
ART Team Principal Sébastien Philippe avoided setting any specific goals for the team’s return to the DTM.
“No need to introduce BMW, Robert Kubica or the DTM! Their fabulous careers speak for themselves,” said Philippe. “This project is important to us and we have been putting a lot of energy into it over the winter.
“It is with great pride that we will undertake it with the ambition to honour a historic car manufacturer, BMW, which has won several titles in the most demanding passenger car championship.
“Our goal will also be to accompany Robert Kubica, who is about to write a new page in his already incredibly rich motorsport career.
“Our last participation in the DTM series dates all the way back to 2015/16, so ART Grand Prix will need to relearn the inner workings of this high-level championship.
“Our objectives will be modest at the start of the season, but with the determination of our team, I hope that we will progress from the start of the season to fight with the frontrunners.”
Kubica will take part in the official ITR test at Monza from 16th to 18th March.