In this three-part series, published in the week before the season starts at the Hockenheimring, we have a look into the drivers, teams and manufacturers of this season. Today, in the third and final part, we have a look at R-Motorsport/Aston Martin and their drivers. Let’s get to know them.
We have a completely new brand and team on the grid this year. After Mercedes decided to leave the championship at the end of 2018, the organizers of the series were looking for a new manufacturer to fill in the gap. They found the replacement in Aston Martin.
The company AF Racing and HWA AG founded a joint venture. This means that they will be responsible for the development, building and running of the Aston Martin DTM machines. The required license needed to race under the British brand Aston Martin is held by AF Racing AG. Its team, R-Motorsport, is already successfully competing with the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 in the Blancpain series.
With HWA still involved, it means the most successful team in the history of the series is still on the grid. There’s no other team who has won so many races or scored that many podiums or championships. Since they entered the series as a works team in 1988, they have secured 11 drivers’, 14 team and 7 constructors’ championships.
Now let’s introduce the four drivers, not all unfamiliar with the series.
Paul di Resta entered the series in 2007 for Mercedes’ team Persson Motorsport. One year later he switched to HWA, a team for who he raced the following 3 years. After 2010, the year he clinched the title, he left the series. He got a role as test and reserve driver for the Force India F1 team. The three years that followed he was one of the team’s two drivers. When it was announced his contract would not be renewed for the 2014 season, he made his comeback in the DTM. Last year, after a close fight between him, Gary Paffet and Rene Rast, he finished 3rd in the championship.
Another man who’s raced in the series before is Daniel Juncadella. The Spanish driver made his debut for Mercedes back in 2013, for Mücke Motorsport. He raced for the Stuttgart-based brand for four years, before taking a 1-year break and coming back last year. In total, he did 76 races, ended on the podium two times with one of them being a victory.
On to the rookies – Jake Dennis and Ferdinand Habsburg. Both of them raced in Formula Renault and the European Formula 3 Championship.
Dennis raced in different single-seater series, GP3 being one of them. In 2016 he raced for the Arden team, a year in which he finished 4th. At the end of 2016, he said he wanted to pursue a career in GT Racing. So, he competed in the Blancpain series and ADAC GT Masters for Audi. Last year he became involved in the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team as a simulator and development driver.
Habsburg started later than average in motorsport – at the age of 14, he drove in a kart for the first time. In 2014 he made his single-seater debut in Formula Renault 1.6 NEC. He did different Formula Renault championships before switching to the European Formula 3 series in 2017, racing for Carlin. In that same year, he almost won the Macau Grand Prix. He was battling for the lead with Sergio Sette Camara. On the final lap, he made a move around the outside but braked too late which caused understeer. This caused a touch with the barriers. Luckily he could continue but finished in 4th place.
Now that we discussed all the manufacturers, teams and drivers of 2019, we are ready for the season to begin. All the action starts tomorrow with two free practice sessions. On Saturday we have qualifying 1 at 10.30 local time (09.30 UK time) and race 1 at 13.30 local time (12.30 UK time).