Audi and BMW Evaluate Customer Teams for DTM in 2019

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Mike Rockenfeller, Marco Wittmann and Loïc Duval: 2018 DTM Series - Red Bull Ring
Credit: Audi Media Centre

Audi and BMW assess customer racing teams for the 2019 DTM Series.

ROWE Racing, BMW’s partner in endurance race is among those in the running.

“The rumours heard in the paddock about us racing in DTM are true,” said Hans-Peter Naundorf, ROWE team manager, to EnduranceInfo.com. “Things are not finalised yet and I currently estimate at 50% the chances of seeing us in DTM next season.”

Series promoter ITR is keen on securing a strong grid for 2019, and beyond, as a result of Mercedes withdrawing from the series at the end of the current season.

Audi Motorsport boss Dieter Gass believes the introduction of customer team will create new opportunities for young drivers.

Since the customer teams won’t have to work on developing the car and that, with the Class One regulations (in force from next season), we have increased the number of standard parts, I think the budget for a customer team will be between one and two million EUR per car,” Gass said to TouringCarTimes.com.

“In terms of what kind of drivers this will attract, we will be more looking at young F3 or F2 drivers who cannot quite make the next step in the single seater ladder, but that can raise the budget to race in a professional and competitive championship such as the DTM, which I think is a very exciting prospect,” added Gass.

Long term Audi partner Team WRT has been rumoured to be among the contenders for Audi.

The team is the winner of multiple Blancpain GT Series titles and, the Spa and Nürburgring 24-hour races has revealed that it is in advanced stages of discussion about running customer Audi RS5 DTMs next year.

“We want to be part of the DTM and are looking at it very closely with Audi,” WRT boss Vincent Vosse told Autosport.com.

“Nothing is done, but we will have to make a decision soon because time is short.

“It would be a big financial commitment, but the championship is looking strong with new technical regulations.”

Vosse added that if WRT gives the plans the green light it would most likely run two cars.

As well, two time DTM champion Mattias Ekström‘s Team EKS currently involved in the FIA World Rallycross Championship is linked to joining the DTM.

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An NCTJ accredited Journalism Graduate covering DTM and the FIA Formula 3 Championship.
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