Joel Eriksson will return for a second season of racing in the DTM – Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters – in 2019, having renewed his contract with BMW.
The Swede made an instant impression in the German-based championship during his rookie year in 2018, which included battling for the podium at his very first event and then claiming victory in a wet/dry night race at Misano (ITA). At 20 years of age, Eriksson became the second-youngest DTM race winner of all time, eventually ending up 14th in the final standings.
Like in 2018, BMW will field six cars in the DTM next season. Five of the drivers – Eriksson, Marco Wittmann (GER), Philipp Eng (AUT), Timo Glock (GER) and Bruno Spengler (CAN) – were announced during BMW’s annual end-of-season party in Munich (GER) on Friday night. A decision on the sixth driver will be made next week.
“I’m very pleased to continue my great relationship with everyone at BMW next year,” says Joel Eriksson. “Racing in the DTM has opened my eyes to an extremely competitive championship, which requires a complete skill set – including experience – to master. That’s why, with one season’s worth of racing in the bag, I’m really excited to carry on for a second year and draw on everything I’ve learned. The target is obviously to take the next step and consistently fight towards the front.”
2019 will mark the start of a new technological era in the DTM, with the introduction of new two-litre, turbocharged 600 bhp engines and the Class One unification with Japan’s Super GT series. Two rounds are scheduled to be joint events between the two championships; one in Japan, one in Germany.
Aston Martin will replace Mercedes-Benz on the DTM manufacturers roster, with Audi remaining on board – like BMW – just as before.
The 2019 calendar features nine rounds of racing, with the traditional season-opener at Hockenheim (GER) pencilled in for the first weekend of May.