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German automotive giant BMW is well known for making great road cars and some really great racing cars, however in the past few years, they have stayed away from the German DTM touring car racing series.
Now they are making a comeback, and a massive one at that by announcing that three teams will be running two cars each this year. The car in question will be a special for DTM version of the M3 GT. The three teams running this new racer are Team RBM, Team Schnitzer and Reinhold Motorsport GmbH.
At the announcement, BMW’s director of motorsports Mario Theissen said, “In recent months we have worked very intensely on the DTM project. The agreement with the teams was of paramount importance. We were pleased with the high level of interest and numerous applications and presentations received from a number of professional teams. The concepts presented by BMW Team RBM, BMW Team Schnitzer and Reinhold Motorsport GmbH ultimately convinced us. This is an excellent team line-up for BMW. For us, it is important that all three teams have absolute equal rights. We are looking forward to cooperating over the coming years – and hope to enjoy great success together.”
He added by saying, “While the preparation for this year’s involvement on the endurance racing circuit with the BMW M3 GT is in its final phase, the DTM project has picked up pace over the past few months. In naming the teams, we have taken the next step. As well as developing the car, it is now a matter of assigning tasks and establishing structures and processes. The cooperation between BMW Motorsport and the teams, as well as that between the team bases and the race track, must be well established. Only then will we make a statement regarding the driving line-up.”
The 2011 DTM season starts on May 1st at the Hockenheimring in Germany.
The 2011 BMW M3 will get Start/Stop technology in a bid to cut down on emissions and fuel consumption. Since most M3s will realistically sit in bumper to bumper traffic, this seems like a fairly astute move by BMW, even if armchair enthusiasts will collectively groan at the thought of their precious sports car being saddled with hybrid technology.
According to BMW, “…feature developed from BMW’s EfficientDynamics strategy that will shut down the engine under certain conditions when the vehicle comes to a complete stop. The benefit of this technology is reduced fuel consumption and the function can be switched on/off via a button located next to the Start/Stop button.”
We’re not really sure what to make of this new feature, but we’d more than willing to test drive a new 2011 M3 and find out.
[Source: BMW Blog]