BMW Motorsport is changing the way its teams are set up for the 2017 season, in preparation for its 2018 World Endurance Championship GTE Pro entry.
The four BMW teams, RMG, RBM, MTEK and Schnitzer will continue to compete going forward, but with some changes to their roles.BMW’s customer racing programme will continue as it was in 2016 though, working closely together with the Schubert Motorsport and ROWE Racing teams.
The key changes in the sportscar side of BMW Motorsport are for Schnitzer and MTEK. While BMW Team RMG and BMW Team RBM will continue to battle for points and wins in the DTM.
BMW Team Schnitzer will return to GT racing in 2017, though which series/events the team will compete in are unconfirmed at this point. The team has already recorded five wins at the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. Lamm and his team last triumphed there in 2010, with the BMW M3 GT.
“Everyone knows that BMW Team Schnitzer has a very close association with GT racing and a great passion for endurance races,” said Schnitzer team principal Charly Lamm. “At the same time, there is obviously a degree of melancholy at having to bid farewell to the DTM. We have had a very intense time in this fiercely-competitive series, with numerous challenges and just as many nice moments.
“The highlight was undoubtedly winning the title in 2012, in our first year after returning to the series. However, we now embark on a new chapter in our long history with BMW. Accordingly, we will go about our work for the coming year in determined mood. We are very much looking forward to the races with the BMW M6 GT3.”
BMW Team MTEK meanwhile will start intensive preparations for BMW’s entry into the FIA World Endurance Championship the following year. Plans for next year foresee that BMW Team MTEK will complete a comprehensive test and development programme in preparation for the WEC entry of BMW.
“I am convinced that this is the best team structure to help us prepare for our new tasks,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt when asked about the new developments. “We have always been sure that we wanted to continue the successful cooperation with all our teams.
“We had to adjust our structures due to the changes in the DTM, and new possibilities and areas of operation opened up for us in our newly-reorganised motorsport programme.
“The new structure is tailored perfectly to this. BMW Team Schnitzer made history in the DTM, winning the title at the first attempt after a 20-year break. Nobody had expected that. The team has always enjoyed close links to GT racing throughout its history, and has had some great results there.
“The GT fans can look forward to some excitement when we inject new life into this combination at the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring in 2017. BMW Team MTEK proved to be an excellent BMW representative in the DTM in recent years.
“It’s planned that it will now devote itself completely to preparations for our entry into the FIA WEC. “