At the ’40 Years of M’ event, held at the Nürburgring last month, BMW announced a very special last-edition E92 M3 named ‘M3 DTM Champion Edition’ to mark the company’s clean sweep in this year’s German Touring Car (DTM) Championship.
If you didn’t already know, 2012 has been an outstanding year for BMW in motorsport. The company entered the DTM season as under-dogs, after an absence of 20 years, but finished the year with its hands on the driver, manufacturer and team titles – comprehensively beating its rivals at Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
If you haven’t yet watched the opening round of DTM 2012 from Hockenheimring last weekend, then you’re missing out on a cracking race, with Mercedes finishing first and second ahead of Mattais Ekström’s Audi in 3rd, and the best placed BMW of Andy Priaulx in sixth.
Despite securing pole position in yesterday’s qualifying, Audi driver Mattais Ekström lost the lead to arch-rivals Mercedes and never recovered it, finishing in 3rd place, with Andy Priaulx chasing down Audi driver Mike Rockenfeller to finish in 6th, as the best-placed BMW driver.
The 2012 DTM championship is underway, and after plenty of pre-season speculation we can now judge the performance of each of the three premium manufacturers – Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
If you’re a UK-based fan of Germany’s DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen-Meisterschaft) series, then you may be wondering how to catch up with the action on TV or online.
After we reported earlier in the week that Audi’s 2011 DTM Champion, Martin Tomczyk had left the Ingolstadt team, BMW has announced this morning that the 29-year old German driver will join Andy Priaulx, Augusto Farfus and Bruno Spengler in driving the M3 DTM in 2012.
There’s an interesting story coming out of Audi Motorsport this morning confirming that their newly-crowned DTM champion, Martin Tomczyk, has left the Ingolstadt brand by mutual agreement. Tomczyk has been a factory driver for Audi since the 2001 season and at 19-years old was the youngest ever DTM driver at the time.
There is no word (as yet) where Tomczyk will next appear, BMW are evaluating drivers for its 3-car entry in the 2012 DTM season and have so far confirmed just 3 of their 6 drivers (Augusto Farfus, Andy Priaulx and Bruno Spengler).
Mercedes DTM lead driver, Bruno Spengler, has left the Stuttgart team and signed with BMW Motorsport, joining Andy Priaulx and Augusto Farfus. Bruno is the 3rd driver to be confirmed for the BMW factory teams, which will field 6 cars in the 2012 DTM series.
Next season’s DTM series promises to be a classic, as BMW join Mercedes and Audi on track for the first time since 1995. For the DTM season finale at Hockenheim today, the contenders met for the first time in a friendly demonstration for the fans.
Although the 2011 DTM driver’s championship has already been clinched by Audi’s Martin Tomczyk, the team title is still up for grabs with Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline leading by just 5 points (77 pts) over THOMAS SABO / Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG (72 pts). There’s also the consolation prize of ‘Vice-Champion’ to be decided, which will go to either Mercedes’ Bruno Spengler (51 pts) or Audi’s Mattias Ekström (49 pts).
It was all-go at the Frankfurt motor show yesterday as Mercedes-Benz launched their new Mercedes C-Coupé DTM and Audi their A5 DTM. Meanwhile new-entrants BMW were on track at the Lausitzring putting their own 2012 DTM challenger to the test.