Jonathan Aberdein, a South African race driver who will turn 22 on February 14, has been named BMW’s sixth driver in DTM, rounding out the marque’s roster for the 2020 season.
Aberdein raced for Audi customer team WRT in 2019, scoring two fourth-place finishes and coming in tenth in drivers’ points for the season.
He will join returning drivers Timo Glock, Philipp Eng, Sheldon van der Linde, and two-time series champion Marco Wittmann along with Lucas Auer, who is also joining the team for 2020. Aberdein fills the slot left when BMW moved Bruno Spengler to Team RLL in IMSA.
BMW motorsport director Jens Marquardt said, “I am delighted that we have been able to give our last free DTM works seat to such a promising and extremely talented young racing driver as Jonathan Aberdein. He demonstrated his potential emphatically in last season’s DTM, when he repeatedly challenged his fellow works drivers and often beat them. I am confident that he will be a great addition to our strong driver line-up. Generally speaking, with our two newcomers Jonathan Aberdein and Lucas Auer joining our four established drivers, we have assembled an outstanding team.”
Aberdein’s appointment means that neither former Formula One driver Robert Kubica nor BMW factory driver Nick Yelloly, who had tested an M4 DTM for BMW in Spain in December, have a ride with the team this season.
Audi and BMW will be the only two teams competing in DTM in 2020; the R-Motorsport Aston Martin team has withdrawn after one season.
The 2020 season begins on the Zolder circuit in Belgium on April 24–26.—Brian Morgan
[Photos courtesy BMW Motorsport.]