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Auer Returns to DTM With BMW, Eriksson Leaves Series

Lucas Auer joins BMW for DTM return while Joel Eriksson leaves series…

Photo: BMW

Lucas Auer will return to DTM after a one-year absence, driving for BMW next year, while Joel Eriksson leaves the series.

Auer, 25, scored four wins in 73 DTM races with Mercedes-AMG between 2015 and 2018.

He was left without a seat when Mercedes withdrew from the series at the end of 2018, and made a number of GT3 starts with the manufacturer this year, along with a Super Formula campaign in Japan.

“I am really excited about returning to the DTM with BMW,” he said. “During my career, I have been in contact with BMW Motorsport on several occasions, but it all came together this time.

“I am counting down the days until I get into the car for the first time. I took a big step forward personally last year in Japan. The key now will be to adapt quickly to the DTM again. However, I am not worried about that.”

In addition to Auer, BMW has confirmed that four of its six drivers from this year will stay on: Marco Wittmann, Philipp Eng, Timo Glock and Sheldon van der Linde.

Bruno Spengler was confirmed on Tuesday as switching from DTM to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and BMW has now revealed that Joel Eriksson won’t return either.

“We have gone for continuity with four of our drivers for next season,” said BMW Motorsport director Jens Marquardt.

“With his speed and incredible consistency, Marco Wittmann is a top performer in our DTM squad every season. He nearly always makes the very most of any opportunities he gets. Timo Glock was very unfortunate last season.

“Philipp Eng performed fantastically in 2019, particularly in the first half of the season. Hopefully he can build on that next year. Sheldon van der Linde impressed us in his rookie season. We see great potential in him, which he will hopefully fulfil more often in 2020.

“I would like to thank Joel Eriksson for the great cooperation over the past two years in the DTM. I wish him all the best for the future.

“We enjoyed some highlights with him and are currently discussing further joint commitments as part of our GT engagement.”

No announcement has been made on the sixth driver in BMW’s lineup next year, nor on driver placements within different teams.

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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