Aiello signs for Opel Aiello signs for Opel

Former DTM champion Laurent Aiello is another well known name to be joining the ranks of Opel drivers in 2004, after signing a deal with the manufacturer. Aiello took the title in 2002 with Abt-Audi but was unhappy with the performance of the car in 2003. The Frenchman finished sixth overall in the standings as Bernd Schneider took his fourth DTM championship.

Laurent Aiello.
Photo by Nikki Reynolds.
Only a week ago Opel announced it had signed ex-Formula One driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen, and before him Mercedes DTM star Marcel F?ssler decided to move to Opel for 2004. Along with Manuel Reuter and Peter Dumbreck, Opel's line up is looking pretty impressive.

Aiello will drive one of the new Vectra GTS models that Opel is introducing: "I have been in touch with Opel for two years already and I am happy that we have now concluded a deal," he said. "There is great motivation at Opel and I really like to contribute to that. Moreover, I am delighted that I can stay in the DTM, because the series really means a lot to me."

Opel's motorsport manager Volker Strycek commented: "With Laurent Aiello, we have yet another top driver joining our ranks. He is a known quantity in touring car racing and certainly another valuable addition for our team."

Opel also announced that G?nther Steiner, formerly technical director of the Jaguar F1 team, has been appointed as technical manager of the OPC-DTM Center in Bobingen, Bavaria.

"The DTM is a great series that becomes more and more important, also at an international level," said Steiner. "The strict regulations are a guarantee for equal chances and a high level at reasonable costs. For a technician, the challenge is to find an area to work within these regulations. For me, that is an interesting task."