Following BMW's announcement at Hockenheim that the company will join the DTM in 2012 their future rivals – Audi and Mercedes – have welcomed the promise of new competition for the first time since the series was reduced to just two manufacturers for the 2006 season.
“The fact that BMW is coming back in the DTM is great news for the fans,” says Dr. Wolfang Ullrich, head of Audi Motorsport. “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 – a familiar figure to racing fans through his involvement in the Mercedes programmes in F1 – was similarly enthused by the prospect of a third car maker in the series.
“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.”