Following plentiful speculation, ex-Formula 1 driver Robert Kubica will drive in the DTM Series for 2020 with the reputable ART Grand Prix privateer team.
Kubica will be in a customer BMW Motorsport M4 DTM, with ART returning to the series it left at the end of 2016 after two seasons of competition in affiliation with Mercedes-Benz.
The Pole, who lost his F1 seat with Williams Racing at the end of his comeback year in ’19, took part in the DTM Young Drivers’ Test at Jerez in December – impressing BMW with his pace.
Kubica has just started a reserve driver contract with Alfa Romeo Racing in F1, but the Swiss/Italian team has given the 35-year-old permission to race in a championship he first expressed a notable interest in during ’13.
The announcement means that the ’20 championship will have at least 15 cars -down from 18, following the withdrawal of R-Motorsport/Aston Martin in January – with Kubica’s potential team-mate unknown.
ART has now joined Audi Sport Team WRT as one of two privateer teams in the DTM.
It is understood that Kubica’s Polish sponsor PKN Orlen has helped finance the move.
“The DTM has appealed to me for a long time – and the test in December at Jerez de la Frontera really gave me a taste for more,” said Kubica.
“I am really looking forward to starting this new chapter in my motorsport career. I believe the DTM is one of the strongest and best race series in the world.
“I immediately felt at home in the BMW M4 DTM at the test.
“ART Grand Prix has been a big name on the international motor racing scene for years. I am sure we can achieve a lot together in the DTM.
“We obviously still have to gain experience compared to the established DTM teams, but we will work hard to ensure that we improve all the time.
“I can hardly wait to race in the DTM.”
BMW’s motorsport boss Jens Marquardt welcomed ART to the Munich-based manufacturer, and back to the DTM, by saying that it offered the most attractive package of all the potential privateer entries.
Marquardt then added that he believes one-time Grand Prix winner Kubica will be a “real asset” to the DTM and hopes he can deliver on the promise he showed during the Jerez test.
“This is really great news for the DTM,” Marquardt said.
“We are delighted to welcome ART Grand Prix to the DTM as a private customer team.
“It has always been our goal to make the DTM field even larger and more attractive with privately-run BMW M4 DTMs.
“There were several options and we have held many discussions with potential teams in recent months. Considering all the aspects, we opted for the package provided by ART Grand Prix.
“After the test in Spain last December, Robert Kubica made no secret of the fact that he could imagine a future in the DTM.
“Robert showed during the test that is very good in a DTM car. He is a real asset to the series.
“We have our fingers crossed for ART Grand Prix and Robert, and hope they have a successful DTM season.”
Kubica will, therefore, take part in the DTM’s official pre-season test at Monza on 16-18 March, with the competitive season starting at Zolder on 24-26 April.