R-Motorsport has chosen to end their DTM commitment, after only a single season.
The Swiss team made a very swift entry to the German series, following the departure of Mercedes-AMG pulling out at the end of 2019.
R-Motorsport struck a deal with HWA, who build and ran the Mercedes cars, but since they had close ties to Aston Martin, they got an AM body shell on the Dallara chassis, so it looked like a Vantage.
The team had a lot of technical issues, with only a few highlights, where they finished in the points. The races were often ended in the garage – before the chequered flag had fallen…
They were not able to start some of the races with all four cars, due to technical issues.
Shortly after the end of season, the news broke that they had cut their connection with HWA, but they would persue other opportunities for their 2020 DTM programme. But that had come to a dead end now.
This puts BMW and Audi under a huge pressure, being the only two remaining manufactures in DTM. BMW has already announced five of their drivers so far, leaving a single seat open for now. Audi Sport Team WRT has revealed their two drivers, while Audi Sport with Rosberg, Phoenix and Abt Sportsline haven’t made any announcements yet.
Audi sent out a press release in the fall of 2018, stating that they would leave DTM, if there weren’t three brands for the 2020 season. That was quite a clear statement back then – but motorsport director Dieter Gass has gone a bit softer today. At least Audi has send out a statement today, following the press release from R-Motorsport:
“We regret the decision of R-Motorsport and wish the team of Dr. Florian Kamelger all the best for their future projects. The ITR and especially Gerhard Berger are currently in intensive discussions with possible teams and manufacturers. We know that it is not an easy task to do this in the remaining three months until the season starts, but we are sure that we can present the DTM fans an attractive starting grid in the 2020 season.”
BMW hasn’t sent out any statements yet, nor has the DTM series itself.
The DTM series has switched to the Class 1 regulations, which they now have in common in the Japanese Super GT category. That results in Lexus, Honda and Nissan building cars on the same Dallara chassis. The two series has held common races, with the Japanese being present at the season finale in 2019, and with Audi and BMW travelling to Japan, for a non-championship race at the Fuji track.
However, it appears that the Japanese don’t have any interest in the series right now, and that could be the end for DTM, if there are only 14 cars running in 2020. And we still don’t know if Audi Sport will keep their world from fall 2018.
We are heading for some very interesting weeks, regarding the future of DTM.