|A far cry from the huge departing Mercedes factory effort, but something nonetheless|
DTM looks ahead to the involvement of the renowned brand Aston Martin. ITR, promoter of the international touring-car series, welcomes the British manufacturer that will be represented by Team R-Motorsport on the DTM grid. Should the development of the racing cars based on the Aston Martin Vantage progress as scheduled, the squad could contest its first races as early as 2019.
The manufacturers Audi and BMW early announced their commitment to DTM and now, a third brand with outstanding motor-racing tradition enters the stage. Gerhard Berger, chairman of the DTM umbrella organisation ITR e.V. says: “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."
Team R-Motorsport is part of AF Racing AG based in Niederwil at St. Gallen, Switzerland, a broadly diversified young motor-racing company that has got close ties with Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd. To date, R-Motorsport entered Aston Martin racing cars mainly in GT racing. The company AF Racing AG will be responsible for the DTM project that will be licensed and supported by Aston Martin and recently founded a Germany based joint venture with HWA AG. The joint venture will be responsible for the development, building and running of the Aston Martin DTM racers. Due to their extensive DTM experience, HWA are regarded as perfect partner for the project. The number of Aston Martin cars and the drivers will be announced at a later point in time.
Important step for the internationalization of the series
The involvement of Aston Martin perfectly suits the advancement of DTM as leading European race series. Recently, DTM intensified the multi-year collaboration with GTA, umbrella organisation of the Japanese SUPER GT series. The two series promoters agreed upon common technical regulations (“CLASS 1"). DTM and SUPER GT plan two joint race meetings in 2019, one in Japan, the other in Europe. “I am convinced that the internationalization-orientated cooperation of ITR and GTA as well as Aston Martin’s decision to join DTM will have signaling effects for further manufacturers," says Berger.
The ITR Chairman adds: “The cooperation with GTA, the internationalization of our platform and the acquisition of further brands represent some of our most important strategic goals. We will push the international expansion in compliance with teams and manufacturers, a development that is supposed to be underlined by an adaption of the name of the series from 2020."
“We are delighted with joining together with Aston Martin a renowned top series with international orientation," reveals Dr Florian Kamelger, founder and co-owner of AF Racing AG and R-Motorsport Team Principal. “Competing with premium manufacturers represents a major challenge for our brand. The new technical regulations and the extended international orientations of the series were important reasons for our decision."
Audi and BMW give Aston Martin a warm welcome
The competitors also are delighted with Aston Martin’s step. Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass says: “Welcome Aston Martin in DTM. 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 says: “Welcome in DTM, Aston Martin! The news of Aston Martin entering DTM is great for the series and the fans. 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."