Arno Zensen has decided to retire after 25 years as boss of the factory Audi Sport Team Rosberg DTM Series outfit, and will hand over to Kimmo Liimatainen ahead of the 2020 season.
It is understood that Liimatainen, previously Team Rosberg’s sporting director, assumed the role on 1 February; but the formal announcement from the team was withheld until Monday morning.
Zensen was involved with the team in its formative years from 1994, alongside founder and 1982 Formula 1 world champion Keke Rosberg.
The team’s competition history started in the 1995 DTM season with Opel, before moving onto the ITC and the Super Touring Car Cup to round out the 20th century.
A return to the DTM for the series’ rebrand in 2000 brought an inconsistent partnership with Mercedes-Benz.
After a sabbatical in ’05, Team Rosberg switched allegiances to Audi – with the next 14 years bringing two Drivers’ and Teams’ championship wins with lead driver René Rast in 2017 and ’19.
“Even though saying goodbye does make me feel a bit wistful, the time has come for me to move on and make room for somebody else,” said Zensen.
“With Kimmo, the team has chosen a strong successor for me. I am confident that he will do a good job.”
41-year-old Finn Liimatainen, who drove for Team Rosberg in the 2002 German Formula 3 Championship, has spent his motorsport management career with the squad.
“We are sad to see Arno go after all these years,” Liimatainen added.
“He helped shape the team for a long time and has earned his retirement.
“There is no doubt that I have large shoes to fill, but I am looking forward to new challenges and a new position in the team.”
Team Rosberg will continue to spearhead Audi’s DTM programme in ’20, running two RS5 DTM cars for Rast and veteran Jamie Green – now in the fourth year of their partnership.