DTM-spec Aston Martin Vantage racers will make their competition debuts next year thanks to a new licence deal struck between the Gaydon firm and R-Motorsport. The silhouette racers will effectively fill the void left by Mercedes's soon to be retired C-Coupe, which is being taken out of DTM as the German marque focuses on Formula E. Aston Martin, on the other hand, has seen opportunity in DTM and its half German, half international calendar. It'll be the only non-German brand to race, with Audi and BMW its soon-to-be rivals.
This won't be a factory Aston effort, but company CEO Andy Palmer said fielding Vantages in DTM will be "an important extension to [the brand's] other motor sport programmes", which include the World Endurance Championship, as well as GT3 and GT4. It may also help to bolster British interest in DTM, which has UK a round at Brands Hatch.
Although the car will resemble a Vantage, its structure and chassis will be as per DTM's tightly controlled regulations. New engine specifications will also require use of turbocharged 2.0-litre engines with 620hp. The package results in cars more comparable in lap time to single seaters than conventional touring cars.
R Motorsport team principal Florian Kamelger said the car's 2019 competition debut will be a great boost to Aston because, "the DTM is one of the recognised international championships for touring and GT segment cars and the initiated extended internationalisation creates great perspectives. The DTM offers first class sport and is close to the fans and is the ideal presentation stage for us".
DTM may also represent a stepping-stone to more motorsport involvement from Aston thanks to the latest Class 1 specifications, which were introduced in 2017 to align DTM with Japan's Super GT series. Aston and R-Motorsport said the DTM deal was boosted by these shared regulations, suggesting Vantage racers could find their way into the popular Asian series in the future.