Single-seater giants ART Grand Prix will join the DTM from 2015 as Mercedes increases its C-Coupe fleet to eight machines.

Mercedes had initially indicated that they would stick with their seven-car DTM programme for the 2015 season despite heated protest from Audi and BMW who both run eight challengers, as per the current agreement.

The three-pointed star officially announced their DTM alliance with the legendary multi-championship winning GP2 at the traditional Mercedes 'Stars and Cars' event at Stuttgart.

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Nudging the DTM field up to 24-machines, ART will join Mercedes' two existing HWA and Mucke Motorsport squads.

ART and Mercedes have already enjoyed a long standing relationship as the French team used Mercedes power for a number of years in the Euro F3 Series, which supported the DTM circus.

Notably, ART also steered current Mercedes F1 star's Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton to back-to-back GP2 championships in 05 and 06 - both titles immediately catapulted the pair into Formula 1 a year after their success'.

"To be picked by the most successful brand in the annals of the DTM to become their latest team fills us with enormous pride. We have a steep learning curve ahead of us," said ART team boss, Frederic Vasseur.

"Nevertheless, we can't wait for the season opener at Hockenheim to get under way when we will line up in a DTM Mercedes AMG C Coup? on the DTM starting grid for the first time in team history."

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff clarified that the hesitance in increasing the number of C-Coupes for 2015 was purely based on finding the right solution in providing equal preparation for all the machines.

"We are delighted to now have on board a strong third team for the 2015 DTM season, long-standing partner ART Grand Prix. We have in the past achieved many successes in Formula 3 with ART Grand Prix," said Wolff.

"We would love to repeat that success in the future in the DTM. We have always said that we would only ever increase the number of vehicles in the DTM when we could be certain that all the cars deployed would be equally well looked after.

"We will have three strong teams next year, HWA AG, M?cke Motorsport and ART Grand Prix, who are well placed to contest a successful season in 2015 with the DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coup?."