Fans of the revived Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) series will be overjoyed to hear that BMW has officially announced that it intends to return to the iconic series to contend by the 2012 season with a car that helped define the first DTM era – the M3.
The company confirmed the return to the series this weekend at the Hockenheimring’s second round of the season – the first time in 18 years since its departure in 1994 – after announcing interest earlier this year.
Even though BMW backed out of Formula One last year, involvement in the upper echelons of motorsport has continued, including the Superbike World Championship and World Touring Car Championship amongst others. More recently, the M3 GT2 toppled Porsche’s dominance at the 24 Hours Nürburgring.
After favourable discussions regarding new technical regulations and promoting the series on a global scale with commercial rights holder ITR e.V. and the other manufacturers represented in DTM (Audi and Mercedes-Benz), BMW’s long-awaited return is finally in full swing.
“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,” says Dr Klaus Draeger, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG.
“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,” added BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen.
“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,” concluded Hans Werner Aufrecht, Chairman of the Board of ITR e.V.