R-Motorsport and Aston Martin had an “outstanding” debut in DTM earlier this month, according to team principal Dr. Florian Kamelger.
The Swiss team’s maiden DTM races at Hockenheim resulted in highlights of a seventh and ninth-place finish as well as a third-place qualifying performance for Paul Di Resta.
Kamelger says these results in the ultra-competitive DTM field are worth being proud of so early into R-Motorsport’s program.
“We started with the team not more than 130 days before the first race, so our development time was 500 days down on BMW and Audi when we started,” he told Sportscar365.
“The team has done a fantastic job since then, absolutely. I’m really, really proud to be part of that team because it’s outstanding what they achieved there.
“There is no point not to be satisfied with such a weekend, we put the cars on P3 and P6 in our maiden qualifying in a very, very competitive series like DTM.
“We scored the first points, we ran the first lead mileage. There is nothing not to be happy about.”
The team’s focus for the rest of the season, which gets restarts this weekend at Zolder, is to focus on reliability with its four Aston Martin Vantage DTMs, and taking each weekend one-by-one.
As far as challenging the factory Audi and BMW outfits for wins, Kamelger remains realistic about his team’s chances but believes good results are possible in certain circumstances.
“I think it is important to do one race after the other, given the fact that our checklist that we work through is not finished yet because of the lack of development days, lack of testing days,” he said.
“We have to look from one race weekend to the other.
“The goal would be to get the cars into a stage where they’re really reliable, where all four can run through the races without problems, in order to give the four drivers the weapon they need to score the results and points.
“I think we can bring some surprises sometimes, if the surroundings are there.
“I think we are good for the upper third sometimes, and we might even be good for one or another podium, if everything works in our favor.
“We definitely need the circumstances to be right to challenge the other two. We’re realistic of that.”
Easier to Debut in DTM This Season
Kamelger explained that part of R-Motorsport’s decision to join DTM this year was in order to take advantage of the shakeup, admitting that joining a year earlier or later would have been more challenging.
“It would have been more difficult to do it in 2020, I would say, or last year,” he said.
“That was one of the reasons why we pushed so far to get it done in a short period of time.”
DTM has undergone somewhat of an overhaul during the off-season, with the departure of Mercedes-AMG and introduction of new turbocharged engines.
“A change of regulations, as an underdog as we are or a newcomer, it always gives you a window of opportunity which you have to take,” Kamelger said.
“If you give the other two manufacturers the possibility to learn the new regulations and the new environment for a year, it would be even more difficult.”