Aston Martin to join DTM grid in 2019

The DTM Series has bolstered its grid for the 2019 season with news that Aston Martin will replace Mercedes, which last year confirmed it would leave the series to focus on Formula 1 and its new Formula E entry for 2019/20.

Aston Martin will be represented by Swiss-based Team R-Motorsport, which already has close ties with the British marque through its GT Racing involvement.

Gerhard Berger, chairman of the DTM umbrella organisation ITR e.V., said the news was hugely positive for the series, which faced dropping to just two manufacturers in Audi and BMW after losing one of its biggest teams in Mercedes.

"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," he said.

"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."

Dr Florian Kamelger, founder and co-owner of AF Racing AG and R-Motorsport Team Principal, added: "We are delighted with joining together with Aston Martin a renowned top series with international orientation.

"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."

It's hoped Aston Martin will be ready to line-up on the 2019 grid when the new season kicks off in May, which will likely be at the Hockenheimring, although series bosses have yet to release a confirmed calendar.