Audi have announced their driver lineup for this year's DTM season, with the main story being that Oliver Jarvis has been left out after four years in the series.
The arrival of BMW with a six-car lineup has prompted Audi to reduce their fleet from nine to seven cars. With reigning champion Martin Tomczyk having defected to BMW, it is Brit Jarvis that has been dropped.
The crack Abt squad will only run three cars instead of five, with two-time champions Mattias Ekstrom and Timo Scheider leading their attack. In the third Abt-run Audi A5 will be Rahel Frey, the female racer who is retained despite only managing a best result of 12th in her debut season last year, when she was driving for Phoenix team.
With Tomczyk having left and Frey having switched to Abt, Phoenix have an all-new pair of drivers, in Miguel Molina and Mike Rockenfeller. Spaniard Molina has raced for Abt for the previous two years, and claimed two pole positions towards the end of last year. 2012 will be Rockenfeller's sixth year in the DTM with Audi, and returns to Phoenix having raced for Abt last year.
The Rosberg team keeps an unchanged lineup, with both Edoardo Mortara and Filipe Albuquerque staying on after strong rookie campaigns in 2011.
“We wanted all of our teams and drivers to start into the new DTM era with the same prerequisites,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “I'm convinced that with our three long-standing partner teams and the proven drivers we're extremely well set for the new DTM season which promises to become particularly thrilling due to the battle between the three German premium manufacturers, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, and will be a tough competition.
“Not least due to the tightened regulations even the minutest details will count. That's why continuity with the teams and drivers was important to us. Mattias and Timo know how to win the DTM and each of them is drawing on experience from more than 100 DTM races. Mike won his first DTM race in 2011, Filipe, Edoardo and Miguel all mounted the podium for the first time last year. And I also believe that Rahel is able to cause some surprises in her second DTM season. During the winter tests she showed that she has a lot of potential.”
Jarvis scored three podium finishes during his DTM career, and will remain with Audi to compete in sportscars.