BMW's M3 to return to DTM racing

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?

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