After a lengthy consultation with series organisers and manufacturers already in the championship BMW has announced that it is to return to the DTM in 2012 for their time since bowing out in 1994.
The move comes now that the BMW Board of management are satisfied with future direction of the series – one of Europe's top tin-top championships – covering technical regulations as well as the growing international presence of the DTM.
“The return of BMW to the DTM is a fundamental part of the restructuring of our motorsport activities,” says Dr Klaus Draeger, a member of BMW AG's Board of Management. “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 adds: “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.”
The initial plan of for BMW to use the M3 as the base model for its DTM design. The various evolutions of the M3 have a very strong racing pedigree, previous iterations having scored two DTM championships in the late 1980s for Eric Van de Poele and Roberto Ravaglia.
“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,” says Hans Werner Aufrecht or series promoter ITR e.V. “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.”