With eight cars, Audi is the strongest brand in the 2019 DTM in terms of numbers. The six factory cars are fielded by the proven Audi Sport teams, Abt Sportsline, Phoenix and Rosberg. WRT Team Audi Sport is putting two additional Audi RS 5 DTM cars on the grid. It is the first customer team in the new era of the DTM.
“Together with the ITR we intensively worked on opening the DTM to customer teams again,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass. “We’re delighted about the opportunity to present the first customer team of the new DTM era. I know Team Principal Vincent Vosse from the STW and his team really well from our joint work in GT racing, and I’m aware of how WRT is positioned. I’m convinced that WRT has the potential of establishing itself in the DTM, too.”
WRT Team Audi Sport is provided with the same “material” as the three factory teams. Technical differences between factory-backed and privateer teams or even chanceless previous-generation cars no longer exist in the DTM. “In my view, the DTM is a very attractive platform for customer teams,” says Gass. “I hope that other teams will follow WRT’s example in the future.”
Within Audi’s lineup, WRT Team Audi Sport is pitted against three teams in the 2019 season that have all won races and championship titles in the DTM. Each of the Audi Sport teams, Abt Sportsline, Phoenix and Rosberg, is responsible for two Audi RS 5 DTM cars. The distribution of the responsibilities has remained unchanged: Audi develops the race cars and the teams take care of fielding them and maintenance between the DTM events.
ABT Sportsline and Audi have been successful partners ever since their joint super touring car days in the late 1990s and now also in the Formula E electric racing series. The 2019 season is ABT Sportsline’s 20th with Audi in the DTM.The ABT squad’s track record reflects five DTM drivers’ titles and four teams’ titles.
Audi Sport’s Phoenix and Rosberg teams have completed Audi’s lineup since 2006. Audi Sport Team Phoenix has clinched the DTM title twice for Audi, most recently in the 2013 season. The first DTM title for Audi Sport Team Rosberg was overdue: In 2015 and 2016, the outfit from Neustadt an der Weinstraße was in the title race up until shortly before the end of the season. In 2017, the squad scored both the drivers’ and the teams’ title wins. In 2018, Audi Sport Team Rosberg’s driver René Rast finished runner-up.