Aston Martin to replace Mercedes in DTM
The DTM has confirmed that Aston Martin is set to replace Mercedes as the third marque on the grid alongside Audi and BMW following the Stuttgart brand’s withdrawal
The Aston entry will come courtesy of Team R-Motorsport, which is part of Swiss team AF Racing. R-Motorsport already has close ties with the British car maker, after running its offerings in GT races. The squad will be responsible for the DTM project, which is licensed and supported by both Aston Martin and a recently founded joint venture with HWA, which will be responsible for the development, building and running of the Aston Martin DTM racers, with HWA deemed to be the perfect partner for the project thanks to its extensive DTM experience.
The entry puts an end to DTMs lengthy search to find a third manufacturer, and will likely assuage other manufacturer’s fears about the sustainability of the series. “This decision of a luxury sports-car manufacturer such as Aston Martin is a historic event for our series and a milestone for the international orientation of DTM,” said Gerhard Berger, chairman of DTM’s umbrella organisation ITR e.V.
The Aston entry also suits the advancement of DTM, which has recently intensified its collaboration with GTA, the umbrella organisation of the Japanese Super GT series. The two series promoters have agreed on shared ‘Class 1’ regulations, allowing DTM and Super GT to hold joint race meetings in coming seasons.
“I am convinced that the internationalisation-orientated cooperation of ITR and GTA as well as Aston Martin’s decision to join DTM will have signalling effects for further manufacturers,” Berger continued.
Aston Martin’s soon-to-be rivals also welcomed the news. “The news of Aston Martin entering DTM is great for the series and the fans. This step gives all those involved planning reliability,” enthused BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “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.”
Marquart’s opposite at Audi, Deiter Gass, was equally positive about the entry. “We are looking forward to having AF Racing in cooperation with the tradition-rich brand Aston Martin aboard… 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.”