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BMW working on return to DTM on 2012
BMW working on 2012 DTM return
By Matt Beer Thursday, April 29th 2010, 09:36 GMT
BMWBMW has moved closer to returning to the DTM after an absence of two decades, but it will not join up until 2012 at the earliest.
The German manufacturer has announced that it is beginning work on a DTM car with a view to entering the championship in two years' time provided "certain basic requirements" proposed by its board are met by DTM organiser ITR.
"The planned return to the DTM is an exciting challenge for our team," said BMW motorsport boss Mario Theissen.
"Over the coming months we will be making all the necessary technical preparations that should allow us to be competitive right from the start should we join the series in 2012."
BMW last raced in the DTM in 1992. It is restructuring its motorsport programmes in the wake of its Formula 1 pull-out last year.
This season the company is racing primarily in the World Touring Car Championship and GT racing. It has confirmed that the M3 GT2 will continue racing through 2011 at least, but has yet to decide its long-term future in the WTCC - although it is working on a replacement for its current S2000 touring car.
"For 2011, BMW is developing a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo engine with direct injection that can be used in championships in accordance with the new Super2000 regulations
- such as the FIA World Touring Car Championship," said a BMW statement.
"A new racing car is being developed as a successor to the current BMW 320si for the coming years. How the BMW involvement in the World Touring Car Championship will look beyond the 2010 season will be decided over the course of the year."
BMW has been involved in the shaping of the next generation DTM technical regulations since August last year, when it formed a Technical Working Group with Audi and Mercedes to come up with the specs of the car.
AUTOSPORT understands that the German governing body, the DMSB, is keen for the new regulations to be introduced for 2011.
For more details of the next generation DTM car read this week's AUTOSPORT magazine.
Mercedes and Audi welcome BMW
By Glenn Freeman Thursday, April 29th 2010, 14:37 GMT
Mercedes and Audi's motorsport chiefs have welcomed the news that BMW intends to return to the DTM in 2012.
The Munich-based manufacturer confirmed earlier today that it will work towards being ready to join the series in 2012, a move that has been supported by key figures from the DTM.
Audi Sport boss Wolfgang Ullrich said: "On behalf of Audi I want to say right now: 'Welcome to DTM.' We look forward to the new competitors from Munich who most definitely will prove to be extremely competitive.
"With its long and successful motor-racing tradition, BMW suits DTM perfectly. I'm convinced that the squad will learn quickly to demonstrate its competitiveness within a short period of time."
Mercedes-Benz motorsport boss Norbert Haug added that BMW's announcement justified the efforts of Mercedes and Audi to keep the series running since Opel withdrew at the end of 2005.
"This is great news - not only for DTM alone but for the entire motor-racing world," said Haug. "
"It underlines that the decision of Audi and Mercedes-Benz to stand in the DTM even in difficult times was an important and productive one. Otherwise, this outstanding platform wouldn't exist any more."
Hans Werner Aufrecht, boss of series promoter ITR, also welcomed the news, and said that series bosses could now work towards strengthening the championship in years to come.
"BMW in DTM - that's something the DTM enthusiasts have been waiting for for quite a while," he said.
"We always tried to pave the way for a DTM involvement of other manufacturers. And this effort seems to bear fruit, now.
"Now we mustn't rest on our laurels but have to keep on working hard on the DTM platform. I'm convinced that we are on the right track with the new DTM regulations, and we'd like to welcome BMW in the DTM fraternity."
This is great news...cannot wait till 2012
2 more years