After pulling from the series in 1992, BMW has announced a tentative return to the DTM touring-car series in 2012. BMW is planning to build a new race car based on the current M3 – which would ideally also be able to run in Japan's Super GT series and the American Grand-Am series.
The BMW race car must meet certain unspecified regulations and if it does so, will see BMW take on German rivals Audi and Mercedes – which are currently the only two manufacturers in the series. Back in 1992, BMW pulled out of the DTM series due to a dispute over its E36 3-Series race car. Before that, BMW won the DTM Championship three times, once in 1987 and once in 1989 with the original E30 3 Series and once back in 1984 with the 635CSi.
BMW board member Dr. Klaus Draeger commented that with the withdrawal from Formula One, BMW has decided to make an increased presence in road racing. "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."
BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen commented that the M3 GT2 (above) currently used in several series (including the American Le Mans Series) will continue to be the focus on the BMW motorsports program next year.
More: BMW Announces Return to DTM After 20 Year Absence