MOTORSPORT NEWS TOURING CAR

Rivals welcome Aston Martin arrival

Audi and BMW have welcomed the news that Aston Martin is to join the DTM grid for the 2019 season following the announcement of a new programme being led by R-Motorsport.The Swiss outfit – the racing arm of AF Racing AG – will work alongside experienced DTM outfit HWA on the new programme, which is running under licence from Aston Martin.Up to four cars based on the Vantage are set to compete in 2019, with drivers to be announced in due course.

The news of the new programme comes as the DTM prepares to say goodbye to Mercedes after this weekend’s season finale, with rivals Audi and BMW pleased to see the British marque filling the void.

“Welcome Aston Martin in DTM,” Audi Motorsport chief Dieter Gass said. “We are looking forward to having AF Racing in cooperation with the tradition-rich brand Aston Martin aboard.

“Thanks to this step it’s guaranteed that DTM will provide motor racing at a high sporting and technical level, with premium manufacturers on the grid. 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.”

BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt meanwhile said that the announcement justified the ‘trust’ that both remaining brands had had in the series following news that Mercedes was to depart.

“The news of Aston Martin entering DTM is great for the series and the fans,” he said. “This step gives all those involved planning reliability. After the surprising announcement of Mercedes to retire from DTM we early committed to the series and promised the fans to fight for its future. And we did so successfully.

“Our trust in the continuity of DTM and the numerous hours we worked jointly with ITR and Audi paid off. We really have to thank Gerhard Berger whose tireless efforts proved to be successful. 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.

“Due to the ‘CLASS 1’ regulations and the international prospects for DTM, the past months already were filled with an optimistic atmosphere. And thanks to the involvement of Aston Martin, the lights definitely are switched to green. No we should fully focus on the racing.

Source: Touringcartimes