BMW's M3 to return to DTM racing

2010-05-03 07:30

After withdrawing from F1, BMW’s seen scant activity to justify its motorsport heritage.

Audi’s effectively stepped into this vacuum and set an impressive record at Le Mans and in the domestic German touring car series (DTM).

Now though, the Munich manufacturer is aiming to shore up its racing activities again by re-entering DTM in 2012.

Going back to the roots

 "Following the withdrawal from Formula One, the realignment of our motorsport programme is raising our presence in production car racing to a whole new level,’ said BMW board member Dr. Klaus Draeger.

"BMW sports and touring cars have achieved success right around the world, and have significantly influenced the brand’s sporting profile right from the word go. For that reason, we see it as a consistent step to return to our roots after bidding farewell to Formula One, and to expand our commitment to this discipline."

What does Dr Draeger mean though? Well, the BMW executive board is keen to significantly expand the brand’s production racing participation over the next few years which effectively means a sure-fire entry to the 2012 DTM series.

More affordable DTM

BMW, Mercedes and Audi have been discussing the technical future of DTM since last year with an aim of making the racing more affordable. Rumours have it that new regulations (due next year) will go some way to reducing costs by around 40%, making the series a viable option to all three manufacturers again.

It’s believed as soon as these new regulations are ratified, BMW is expected to commit to joining the series by 2012.

"The planned return to the DTM is an exciting challenge for our team," said BMW Motorsport Director and former F1 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. Thanks to its great tradition in production car racing, the BMW M3 is predestined to be used as the basic car."

A return of the blue and white roundel would bode well for the DTM series, generally regarded as the world’s premier touring car championship.

It will also go some way to appeasing BMW’s loyal motorsport fans, who've had to make do with very little in the line of excitement during the last year.

Do you think BMW’s DTM return is justified, or should they have stayed in F1 instead?

  • AG S ZN - 2010-05-03 08:24

    The cost factor I am sure played a big role cause in F1 the costs were too high and in the DTM, I do not think it will be more than a quarter of their previous F1 expenditure. The other thing is DTM is their home championship and so it means a lot as well (not as much as F1 obviously) to participate. Lastly, going against Audi, Merc on production based car is more relevant for promotion than F1 (i.e. to normal non-F1 fans)

  • Realist - 2010-05-03 09:24

    How long after entry till they leave with their tails between their legs... again

  • daffy - 2010-05-03 09:28

    Good news, 2 or 3 other manufacturers should join DTM, coz its boring watching 2 manufactures racing against each other the whole time, i feel it takes away from what would otherwise be a great series.

  • Stuart@Daffy - 2010-05-03 11:07

    Dude, I think you're dead right. I would love to see the big three (BMW, Audi & Merc) going head to head. It would be better viewing than the crap they're serving up in F1 at the moment. In addition, if costs are significantly cut, perhaps a company like Porsche could look to get involved. Man, that would be awesome!

  • Stuart - 2010-05-03 13:12

    Although, Porsche don't really manufacture touring cars do they? FAIL!! :-)

  • Dr. No - 2010-05-03 14:48

    Great news. The official undisputed Butt - Kicking M3 will again do just what it did back in the 90's, kick serious Merc and Audi butt... Shame, the Merc and Audi people must be crying in their Weiss Beers as the count down to the whipping commences...

  • Nitro Nori - 2010-05-04 07:32

    DTM is not as cheap as it may seem but do agree it is far cheaper than the pinnacle of motor racing F1. Again DTM is in no way as exciting as F1, it lacks there drama and excitment of F1. You dont have the best drivers in the world competing (the retired F1 guys race are in DTM and guys that really dont get a look in F1). BMW did fail in F1 by not winning any of the titles for the time they were there with a massive budget so "business is business" and they moved on, Toyota/Honda did the same.

  • Willy - 2010-10-18 10:40

    Great news. Those not fimiliar with DTM, should watch. This type of racing is 100% more exciting than F1.

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