Friday, 15 October 2010 20:01
The return of BMW to the DTM from 2012 was confirmed by the company during the DTM race weekend at the Hockenheimring.
In April this year BMW had announced its intention to race in the DTM in principle from 2012, the first time since its departure from the series in 1994.
The Board of Management of BMW AG considers conditions tied to a positive decision to return to the popular touring car series have now been met.
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.
Dr. Klaus Draeger, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG:
“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.”
BMW Motorsport Director 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, 1st Chairman of the Board of ITR e.V.:
“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 that 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. Thus 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.”
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, head of motorsport Audi:
“The fact that BMW is coming back in the DTM is great news for the fans. Thus, the three German premium brands will be competing in the world’s most important touring car series as of 2012. This is another boost for our DTM series, which is already very popular anyway. BMW has a long tradition in touring car racing and suits the DTM perfectly. We know the brand already from many great races in DTM, in Super Touring and in sports prototypes and we are looking forward to a new encounter."
"BMW and Mercedes-Benz are our two main rivals on the global car market. The fact that we are able to compete with these two prestigious brands on the track fits perfectly into the motorsport strategy of our company. With four DTM titles since 2004, Audi is the most successful manufacturer in recent history of the DTM and the first manufacturer ever to win three DTM titles in a row. With BMW’s commitment, it will be even tougher in the DTM from 2012. We will gladly be facing this challenge.”
Norbert Haug, head of motorsport Mercedes-Benz:
“From our point of view, a good decision that confirms how important it was and how right we were at Mercedes-Benz to continuously commit to the DTM for more than 20 years, and thus longer than any other manufacturer, in such a determined way. We are looking forward to the new and respected competitor from Munich and we congratulate them to their arrival in the DTM in 2012.”
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 (BE) and Roberto Ravaglia (IT) celebrated two DTM titles with the racing version of BMW’s most sporty representative back in 1987 and 1989, while before that Volker Strycek (DE) won the DTM premiere in 1984 in the BMW 635 CSi.
This season the current BMW M3 GT2 caused a sensation in the world of international endurance racing, taking victory in the 24 hour race at the Nürburgring (DE).