The return of BMW to the DTM from 2012 is reality: This was confirmed by the company during the DTM race weekend at the Hockenheimring. In April this year BMW announced its intention to race in the DTM in principle from 2012, the first time since its departure from the series in 1994.
In recent months BMW has been working with the DTM umbrella organisation ITR e.V. and the other manufacturers represented in the DTM on issues relating to the future technical regulations, and the long-term internationalisation of the championship. The positive nature of these discussions means BMW Motorsport can now begin planning its DTM comeback in greater detail.
The intention is to use the BMW M3 as the basic DTM vehicle, a car that has enjoyed unique successes in the field of touring and sports car racing in the past. Eric van de Poele and Roberto Ravaglia celebrated two DTM titles with the racing version of BMW’s most sporty model back in 1987 and 1989, while before that Volker Strycek won the first DTM in 1984 in the BMW 635 CSi.
Read what Dr. Klaus Draeger, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG with responsibility for development, BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen and Hans Werner Aufrecht, 1st Chairman of the Board of ITR e.V., has to say about the company’s comeback.
Dr Klaus Draeger: “The return of BMW to the DTM is a fundamental part of the restructuring of our motorsport activities. With its increased commitment to production car racing, BMW is returning to its roots. The race track is the perfect place to demonstrate the impressive sporting characteristics of our vehicles against our core competitors in a high-powered environment. The DTM is the ideal stage on which to do this.”
Mario Theissen: “The entire team at BMW Motorsport is approaching this exciting project with absolute commitment. We began making technical preparations following our declaration of intent in April, and established parameters for a high-performance vehicle concept for deployment in the DTM. The positive decision of the BMW Board of Management means we can now shift up a gear and give the green light for development.”
Hans Werner Aufrecht: “We welcome the decision by BMW to enter the DTM from 2012. This is a further milestone for the future of our popular racing series, and proves our efforts over the past few years have paid off. We laid the foundation for this in conjunction with the DMSB and the existing DTM manufacturers, namely Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Therefore I would like to heartily thank all parties. I am personally looking forward to again seeing the three premium brands of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz competing against each other on the race track. Our fans have waited a long time for this.”
The return of BMW in 2012 was not the only groundbreaking news to come out of the DTM event at Hockenheim last weekend. From 2013, the DTM will cooperate with the GRAND-AM Road Racing series. GRAND-AM will run a new championship, in which cars will race in compliance with the DTM regulations, which come into effect in 2012.
Sprint races are planned as part of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car series, as well as – in certain cases – the NASCAR Sprint Cup and the NASCAR Nationwide series.
Last season, BMW lined up in the American Le Mans Series in North America. Armed with the BMW M3 GT2, the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing team won both the manufacturer and team titles.