Contrary to rumours linking him to a switch to the nascent World Touring Car Championship, Laurent Aiello has been confirmed as part of the Opel line-up in next year's DTM.

Although the 2005 campaign is expected to be Opel's last for the time being, Aiello has inked a deal to pilot one of the German marque's Vectra GTS V8s - an arrangement revealed at the Essen Motor Show and confirmed by Opel motorsport director Volker Strycek.

"I am happy with the continuation of our co-operation with Laurent," Strycek admitted, "Both sides are highly motivated to do a good job and to achieve good results. Next to completing our driver line-up, we are focusing on the development of our new race car. Preparations are going as scheduled, and we will be driving the new car before the end of the year."

Aiello is the third driver confirmed by Opel ahead of the 2005 season, joining Marcel F?ssler and Heinz-Harald Frentzen in the line-up. The remaining four drivers from 2004 - Peter Dumbreck, Timo Scheider, Manuel Reuter and Jeroen Bleekemolen - all remain hopeful of tying up deals to remain in the DTM.

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