BMW Motorsport will return to DTM racing with three teams and six BMW M3 DTM cars when the season kicks off at Hockenheimring, this Sunday 29th of April 2012.
The brand was involved in DTM racing at a works level from 1984 to 1992. Hans Grohs won the very first DTM race driving a 635 CSi, and BMW had secured the overall title by the end of the inaugural 1984 season. The iconic first generation E30 M3 DTM arrived in 1987, and BMW Motorsport dominated the German Touring Car Championship where they continued to a total of 49 wins, 30 pole positions, and three drivers’ titles. Two titles with the E30 – 1987 and 1989. The last time BMW Motorsport raced in DTM was 1992.
[youtube width=”640″ height=”480″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VXfOER_gGo[/youtube]
The BMW M3, with its fourth generation chassis, will take to the track to meet its rivals from Mercedes-Benz (AMG DTM C-Coupé) and Audi (A5 DTM). Team engineers have worked very hard over the last nine months (since the July 4th 2011 roll-out) to make sure the safety features, aerodynamics, and power train of the M3 DTM are up to the task. After several test laps, drivers have praised the comfort, balance, power, and looks of the newly developed M3 DTM, and are excited to see how it performs in racing conditions.
BMW’s strong multinational driver line-up includes some impressive resumes – ALMS GT champion, three-time World Touring Car Champion, Rolex 24 winner, and reigning DTM champion. Joey Hand (US) will join Martin Tomczyk (DE) with BMW Team RMG. Andy Priaulx (GB) and Augusto Farfus (BR) will represent BMW Team RBM. Bruno Spengler (CA) and Dirk Werner (DE) will line up for the BMW Team Schnitzer, based in Freilassing, near Munich, Germany. BMW has scored more DTM victories at the Hockenheimring than any other circuit, with BMW drivers crossing the finish line first on ten occasions.
Organizers expect spectators to fill the grandstands, as the Germany’s big three car makers all compete for the first time since the 1990’s. Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director, feels the DTM is a great racing platform for BMW based on the new regulations. It will allow BMW to meet their competition in the premium segment head-to-head, and continue the special bond of fans and motor racing. Most car enthusiasts agree that the M3, as a total package, sets the standard in driving dynamics, comfort, and design. Over the years BMW has been very successful in translating technology from the track into their road cars. The DTM Series will provide exciting racing highlights, and rekindle the special connection for BMW fans with the return of the legend, the M3.
BMW M3 DTM data and specs:
Chassis: CFRP monocoque with steel roll cage. Length: 15.5 ft (w/out rear wing) Width: 6.4 ft Height: 4 ft (depending on set-up)
Engine: 4.0-litre V8 (P66) 480 hp with restrictors per regulation (0-62 in 3.0 seconds)
Transmission: 6-speed sequential gearbox (pneumatic shift system, differential is combined with gearbox)
BMWBlog will continue to update BMW fans in the U.S. as the season progresses. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @bmwblog and facebook.com/bmwblog. As part of BMW M GmbH’s 40th anniversary year, we wish all three teams, and six drivers a very good race as they start the next chapter of BMW Motorsport.
Update: Fans outside of Europe can watch the race live streaming on-line starting at 10:00 AM EDT (4:00 PM CET local Euro time) on dtm.com. There is a DTM TV player at the bottom of the page and the ability to translate to English language well.