BMW has firmed up its driver line-up for the 2020 DTM season, with former Audi driver Jonathan Aberdein taking the place of IMSA-bound Bruno Spengler.
As reported by Motorsport.com, Aberdein has left the Audi fold after finishing 10th in the 2019 season with WRT, his first in the category.
It is understood that he had initially agreed a deal with Audi to serve as its reserve driver in Formula E and the DTM, before a race opportunity with BMW prompted him to jump ship.
The Audi contract would have included a single race outing at the Norisring DTM round in place of Robin Frijns, who has a contractual obligation to take part in the clashing Formula E race in New York.
Apart from the addition of Aberdein, BMW had also replaced Joel Eriksson with former Mercedes DTM driver Lucas Auer.
Timo Glock, Philipp Eng, Sheldon van der Linde and two-time champion Marco Wittmann - who Aberdein will partner Wittmann at Team RMG - have retained their seats.
"BMW has given me an incredible opportunity to become a BMW works driver in 2020 and I’m very thankful for that”, said Aberdein.
“I’m ecstatic to be participating in another season of DTM, I will be looking to build on my strong rookie year in 2019. I look forward to taking on this challenge with BMW.”
BMW Group Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt added: “I am delighted that we have been able to give our last free DTM works seat to such a promising and extremely talented young racing driver as Jonathan Aberdein.
“He demonstrated his potential emphatically in last season’s DTM, when he repeatedly challenged his fellow works drivers and often beat them.
"I am confident that he will be a great addition to our strong driver line-up. Generally speaking, with our two newcomers Jonathan Aberdein and Lucas Auer joining our four established drivers, we have assembled an outstanding team.”
Thursday’s announcement made no mention of BMW supplying its M4 DTMs to customer teams in the same manner Audi does with WRT.
However, former Formula 1 driver Robert Kubica is reported to be working on his own customer BMW operation that could be funded by his personal backer PKN Orlen.
The DTM field has been significantly impacted by the departure of the R-Motorsport Aston Martin team, which announced its exit last month.
At present, only 14 cars are confirmed to be on the grid for the season opener at Zolder, with six factory cars each from Audi and BMW joined by two customer RS5s run by WRT.
Jonathan Aberdein, Audi Sport Team WRT, Audi RS 5 DTM
Photo by: Alexander Trienitz
Audi confirms unchanged DTM line-up for 2020
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