The German touring car series known as DTM has welcomed Aston Martin as the newest manufacturer to join.

DTM organizers announced Thursday that Aston Martin will be represented by Team R-Motorsport which will field race cars based on the Vantage sports car perhaps as early as the 2019 season.

The move is seen as a key step in internationalizing the series which looked to be in trouble last year when Mercedes-Benz decided to quit in order to free up resources for a planned Formula E entry.

The current season of DTM has Audi and BMW represented, with race cars based on their respective A5 and 4-Series coupes competing.

DTM cars currently run 4.0-liter V-8 engines but will switch to 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4s next season as part of a harmonization of rules with Japan’s Super GT.

Team R-Motorsport is part of Switzerland's AF Racing AG which has close ties to Aston Martin. It already has experience racing Aston Martins in GT competition, including the Vantage GT3 in the 2018 Blancpain GT Endurance Series. However, for DTM it will draw on some help from HWA which was responsible for Mercedes' efforts in DTM.

Team R-Motorsport and HWA will establish a joint venture responsible for the development, building and running of the Aston Martin DTM racers. The number of Aston Martin cars and the drivers will be announced at a later date.

“The internationalization of our platform and the acquisition of further brands represent some of our most important strategic goals,” DTM boss Gerhard Berger said. “We will push the international expansion in compliance with teams and manufacturers, a development that is supposed to be underlined by an adaption of the name of the series from 2020.”