After signifying an interest to return to the DTM (German Touring Car Championship) last April, BMW has finally confirmed that it will make its comeback in 2012. BMW had left the series in 1994. To create a technical regulations pathway for the future, BMW and other participating carmakers have been working with the DTM umbrella organization ITR e.V. BMW said that it can now ascertain the details of this decision.
BMW has previously disclosed that it will be bringing the M3 to the race. Historically, this model has figured prominently in touring and sports car races. In fact, the current M3 is already a world-famous racer. The latest win of the M3 GT was at the 24-hour Nurburgring race months ago.
Dr Klaus Draeger shared that BMW’s return to the DTM is a basic part of the brand’s restructuring related to motorsport activities. Draeger is a member of BMW AG’s Board of Management and is responsible for development activities.
Draeger added that the brand is going back to its roots, given the increased commitment to its production car racing. The race track remains to be a high-powered environment, Draeger further added, and it is the best venue to show that its vehicles still has the sporting characteristics to go against the competition.
DTM is the best platform to do this, Draeger concluded. BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen, meanwhile commented that the whole BMW Motorsport team is fully committed to this project.
After the brand revealed its intent last April, they not only started making the technical preparations but also established the necessary parameters that would ensure that a concept vehicle to be deployed in the DTM offers excellent performance, Theissen shared.
With the brand’s Board of Management giving the approval, the team can now move forward and start with the development, Theissen related. Hans Werner Aufrecht revealed that they are grateful that BMW has decided to enter the DTM starting 2012.
Aufrecht is the 1st Chairman of the Board of ITR e.V., the commercial rights holder, as well as the promoter, of DTM. This marks another achievement for the future of this popular racing series and shows that the efforts they made over the years did not go to waste, Aufrecht disclosed.
The foundation of this race, Aufrecht added, was a result of the partnership with DMSB and other DTM manufacturers like Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Aufrecht declared that he thanks all the parties involved and is anticipating being able to witness the Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz as they compete once again with each other on a race track.
This is what many fans have been waiting for, Aufrecht concluded. BMW planned to have the M3 as its basic DTM vehicle. This is a model that has long experienced a number of successes in both sports car racing and touring. For example, Eric van de Poele (BE) drove a racing version of BMW in 1987 and won a DTM title.
Roberto Ravaglia (IT), another BMW driver, also won a DTM title back in 1989. Driving the BMW 635 CSi, Volker Strycek (DE) also won during the 1984 DTM premier. The brand’s M3 GT2 had caught the attention of endurance racing after it won the Nürburgring (DE) 24-hour race.