Audi will only continue in DTM if a third manufacturer is found by the 2020 season, it has been revealed.
It comes amid confirmation of the German manufacturer’s commitment to next year’s championship, which will see only BMW and Audi on the grid following Mercedes’ exit at the end of this season.
While set to continue in the German-based touring car series in 2019, “a minimum of three brands being represented from 2020 on at the latest will be the prerequisite” for Audi’s continued program, according to a statement from the manufacturer.
Audi will continue with programs in both DTM and the ABB FIA Formula E Championship next year, as its two factory pillars of motorsport.
New “Class One” regulations, shared with the Japanese-based Super GT championship, are set to come into force next year in DTM, which will include the adoption of four-cylinder turbo engines.
“In the DTM, thanks to forward-thinking technologies like the new turbo engines, we continue to see major potential,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass.
“Concerning the third manufacturer this will require, I have great confidence in DTM boss Gerhard Berger bringing this competitor to the grid for 2020 at the latest.”
Aston Martin has been heavily linked for an entry into DTM, through a newly forged partnership between HWA and AF Racing, the parent company of R-Motorsport, which currently campaigns Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3s in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup.
David King, Aston Martin Racing president, however, declined comment on any potential DTM activities when asked by Sportscar365 earlier this month.
It’s believed a manufacturer entry into the FIA Electric World Rallycross Championship, which has been delayed until 2021, is a potential fallback option for Audi should a third manufacturer not arrive in DTM.
Audi is currently represented in WRX with a factory-supported effort program by Mathias Ekstrom.