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R-Motorsport, WRT Pleased With Debut DTM Seasons

R-Motorsport and WRT’s bosses pleased with each team’s debut DTM seasons…

Photo: R-Motorsport

The bosses of both R-Motorsport and WRT say they’re happy with their respective teams’ debut DTM campaigns which drew to a close at the Hockenheimring last weekend.

R-Motorsport’s Dr. Florian Kamelger and WRT’s Vincent Vosse are both positive after a season that saw both teams have several shining moments in the competitive German-based Class 1 championship.

Swiss-entered R-Motorsport brought Aston Martin to DTM for the first time, running four Vantage-based cars for Jake Dennis, Paul Di Resta, Daniel Juncadella and Ferdinand Habsburg, while WRT fielded a pair of customer Audi RS 5 DTMs for Jonathan Aberdein and Pietro Fittipaldi.

“We can be proud of ourselves and happy,” Kamelger told Sportscar365.

“I think everybody who thought we were going to get podium after podium in this highly competitive series was wrong and I always told them it was not going to be the case.

“It is important to manage expectations here and we are competing in one of the world’s most competitive touring car series, against big manufacturers with vast experience from many, many years.

“Looking back on us, we brought these four cars onto the grid in Hockenheim and we took a lot of the opportunities we had on strategy in the races.

“We had Jake running P6 in Zolder, we had Dani finishing P6 in Brands. We led races, we were not far off, and there were many people out there who thought we would be far off. Overall, a very, very good result, in my eyes.”

Vosse echoed Kamleger’s thoughts, admitting that he was surprised by his team’s results that helped Aberdein finish tenth in the drivers’ standings, higher than any other non-Audi or BMW works driver.

“Very happy, very surprised,” Vosse told Sportscar365. “We’re very happy about how the team has progressed.

“We have an incredible pair of drivers who give us the chance to fight at the front from time to time. I think we had already three or four front-row starts.

“The driver is a big part of it but he cannot do it with the wrong car so at least we are doing our cars as good as the others, which is already great.”

Both teams are committed for the 2020 season, and Kamelger says, while he does have targets in mind for the program’s second season, it’s important to remain patient and respectful of DTM’s highly competitive nature.

“The target must be to get reliable, to get more competitive, to get into the points on a regular basis,” he explained.

“I always remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day either. Although we are in a highly competitive and fast environment in motorsport, motorsport asks us to be patient as well.

“The second year must be a consolidation year where we find our place in the field and that’s the aim for 2020.”

Kamelger ‘Regrets’ Not Entering Fuji Dream Race

Kamelger expressed disappointment at his team not being represented in next month’s Dream Race at Fuji, where this year’s Super GT GT500 field will be joined by a contingent of DTM entries.

Audi will field four cars, one of which is to be run by WRT, while BMW enters a trio of M4 DTMs, but R-Motorsport won’t be present in the one-off race.

“I really regret that,” he said. “It’s not 100 percent what we wanted to do, obviously. It was a common decision between [Aston Martin Lagonda CEO] Andy Palmer and myself not to do it, because of two things.

“One is the focus on the preparation for the 2020 DTM season and the other one is around costs and around our cost-saving approach at the moment, in this series.

“I have to say it is the wedding [between DTM and Super GT] and unfortunately we are not part of the wedding.

“The wedding will start a hopefully successful long-term marriage and we will be playing a role in this marriage, for sure.”

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

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