Lucas Auer rejoins DTM grid in 2020 BMW line-up

Lucas Auer will return to the DTM grid after a year away after being announced as part of BMW’s new-look line-up for the 2020 season.

Auer spent four seasons in the series with Mercedes, taking a best finish of sixth in the standings in 2017, but left to compete in Super Formula this year.

The four-time race-winner will join returning quartet Marco Wittmann, Philipp Eng, Timo Glock and Sheldon van der Linde at the wheel of an M4 DTM with the sixth driver in the line-up to be confirmed at a later date.

That driver won’t be Joel Eriksson however, with the Swede leaving the DTM programme after two seasons.

Bruno Spengler’s departure had already been announced, with the Canadian instead being placed in BMW’s North American sportscar programme.

“Welcome back to the DTM, Lucas Auer,” BMW Group motorsport director Jens Marquardt. “I am obviously particularly happy, not only to be able to welcome him back to the DTM, but also to welcome him into the BMW family. In his 73 DTM races so far, Lucas has emphatically shown what he is capable of and, with four wins and ten podiums, has proven that he can mix it at the very front of the field. We believe that he will fit in very well with us, not only because of his huge potential as a driver, but also his friendly nature.

“We have gone for continuity with four of our drivers for next season. 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. However, there is no doubting his pace at the wheel of the BMW M4 DTM. 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.”

Auer himself was delighted to confirm a return to the DTM for 2020, admitting that he expected to hit the ground running when the new season kicks off.

“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.”