Ferdinand Habsburg is a late addition to the 2020 DTM Series grid, after Audi Sport Team WRT announced on Wednesday that it will run a third car.
Habsburg had been part of the four-car R-Motorsport/Aston Martin line-up in 2019, but scored just three points in a difficult rookie year.
The 22-year-old Austrian lost his seat in tandem with the collapse of R-Motorsport’s DTM programme after just one year, with the series deemed to be surplus to the outfit’s interests.
Habsburg will join DTM rookies Ed Jones and Fabio Scherer at Audi privateer team WRT, making for an average age of just 22 years and four months between the three.
The addition of a third car from Team WRT will boost the DTM grid to 16 cars, two short of ’19’s field.
ART Grand Prix has returned to the DTM with BMW Motorsport and a one-car entry for Robert Kubica, joining Team WRT as a privateer squad.
“They say that if you live your dream it’ll never be as good as you imagined, but DTM definitely did not disappoint,” said Habsburg.
“I feel like I did a good job last year and ended the season in a strong position, so I was determined to come back and continue what I have started.
“The Audi RS 5 DTM was seriously impressive last year and I can’t wait to drive it – to have such a prestigious and respected team as WRT behind me gives me confidence that this could be my best season yet.
“Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to get me to this point – let’s do this together.“
Team principal Vincent Vosse explained that Habsburg first caught his attention at the 2017 Macau Grand Prix, a race in which he impressed by taking the lead on the final lap before hitting the wall and limping across the line in fourth.
“We are delighted to add a third car to our line-up. As the opportunity arose, we seized immediately,” said Vosse.
“It was in Macau in 2017 when I first noticed Ferdinand; that day, he performed a superb race, fighting for victory until the last corner.
“I was impressed and we had contacts in the recent past. He is a talented, fast and bright driver and I like very much his approach to racing.
“I am sure he will be a valuable addition to the team, also because he has a full year of experience in the DTM.
“Together with Ed and Fabio, he forms a trio of young guns that match perfectly the ambitions of WRT Team Audi Sport.“
Habsburg is expected to make his Team WRT debut at the official pre-season test at Hockenheim next week, should it go ahead in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic.
In late February, DTM’s organising body ITR moved the test from the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.
At the time of writing, over 1,500 confirmed cases have been reported across Germany.