BMW has launched the concept for the car it will use when it returns to the DTM next year. The BMW M3 DTM Concept Car was unveiled by Dr. Klaus Draeger, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for development, and new BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt at BMW Welt in Munich.
Factory drivers Andy Priaulx and Augusto Farfus were also confirmed as the first two drivers for the 2012 programme.
“It is good to see how our DTM project is picking up speed,” said Dr. Draeger. “Next year, BMW returns to the DTM after two decades. We will be facing our main competitors in the premium sector – and are already looking forward to this challenge.
“The DTM comeback sees BMW return to its roots. We have enjoyed great success in production car racing in the past, and I am convinced we will follow on in 2012 where we left off. Everyone at BMW Motorsport is working hard to ensure we get off to a successful start next season.”
Marquardt added: “Getting a new racing programme up and running is a bit like doing a jigsaw. New pieces are added almost every day, and we must put them together to create the big picture. The BMW M3 DTM Concept Car is an important milestone on our route to the start of the 2012 season. The roll-out of the car was successful, and we are now starting our test programme out on the track.
“Drivers Andy Priaulx and Augusto Farfus are also involved and will form part of our driving line-up in 2012. Their impressive performances in touring car and GT racing make them ideally suited to the DTM, and we are sure they will leave their mark on this series too.
“It is obviously just as important to have strong partners on board, and we were able to present some of them today. The pieces are fitting together perfectly, so we can definitely say our preparations for the 2012 season are going according to plan.”
Former triple World Touring Car Champion Priaulx is pleased to be part of the project. “The DTM will be a big challenge for us all,” he said. “Together with BMW, I have celebrated success in many different disciplines and behind the wheel of some fantastic racing cars in recent years. I am more than confident that this will also be the case in the DTM.
“The BMW M3 DTM looks fantastic. I can hardly wait to get to know the car better in the coming tests, to contribute to its development, and ultimately to sit in the cockpit for the first DTM race in 2012.”
Farfus was also part of BMW's WTCC team, and also enjoyed success in their sportscar programme. “I am delighted BMW is giving me the opportunity to race in the DTM,” said the Brazilian. “You always need new challenges in life. That is why I cannot wait for my debut in this series.
“The opposition is tough and has more experience in recent years, but BMW Motorsport is working fantastically to ensure we should be competitive right from the word go. We want to learn as quickly as possible. Who knows, maybe we can already challenge the established manufacturers a bit in 2012.”
Three teams will compete in the DTM with BMW – Schnitzer, RBM and the all-new RMGsquad – but it has not yet been decided for which teams the drivers will race for. Having raced for RBM throughout his time in the WTCC, it is likely that Priaulx will line up for the Belgian squad
A number of partners for the DTM programme were also announced at the event. Hotel brand Crowne Plaza, who first joined forces with BMW as a sponsor of Priaulx's WTCC car, will be a 'premium partner'. They will be joined by Deutsche Post. Other partnerships that were announced were with Castrol, H&R, Sonax and ZF Sachs.
“In order to succeed in the DTM, strong partners are as vital as strong teams, cars and drivers,” said Marquardt. “Even at this early stage BMW is in the fortunate position of having secured a raft of respected team sponsors and partners, all of whom perfectly complement the brand and identify totally with our ambitions. We are pleased that long-standing partners have also elected to remain with us. However, for us it is equally satisfying that additional top companies have decided to partner BMW's DTM campaign and share in the challenges which face us.”