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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.
Most people would agree that the current BMW M3 with its rorty V8 motor sounds pretty good, but that doesn’t mean it could not be improved upon.
Now, BMW’s M-division has now created a new performance exhaust for the M3, which not only sounds better, but is also lighter than the standard exhaust system because it is made from Inconel – the same substance used for F1 race car exhausts. This system is 20% lighter than the standard exhaust, and since it has a free-flow setup the engine sounds even better than it already does.
It’s not a cheap upgrade though. This new exhaust will cost $4,374 and that doesn’t include installation.
However, what if you can’t afford an M3 right now? Not to worry, BMW is offering this incredible sound as a ringtone through the following link: bmwusa.com/news.
Check out video of the exhaust after the jump:
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.
Official release after the jump: