BMW Motorsport | Perfecting its Structure for 2017
BMW Motorsport is changing the way its teams are set up for the 2017 season in order to capitalise on the potential of each of the series’ it will see involvement in. The four BMW teams, RMG, RBM, MTEK and Schnitzer, will continue to compete, but they will refocus on new motorsport goals in order to capitalise on the wide spread of involvement BMW has in worldwide racing. BMW will also continue to work closely with customer teams such as ROWE Racing and Schubert Motorsport.
Both BMW Team RMG and RBM will continue in the hotly contested German Touring Car series, the DTM, aiming not just for points, but for wins too. They plan to build on the success that the BMW brand has achieved since its comeback in 2012, since which time it has celebrated the team championship in 2014 headed by Stefan Reinhold, and the drivers’ championship in 2014 and 2016 under the helmsmanship of Marco Wittmann under the Team RGM guise.
BMW Team RBM has also competed strongly since BMW’s DTM comeback, always being hot on the heels of Team RMG. This season they finished just behind Team RMG in third place and in 2013 team boss Bart Mampaey and his crew finished second in the team title race. Both Team RMB and RMG will go into the 2017 season competing in the BMW M4 DTMs, with driver lineups being announced this Friday (December 9th) at the BMW Motorsport Season Review in Munich.
BMW Team Schnitzer will return to GT racing in 2017 with Charly Lamm and his team having competed in 66 DTM races between 2012 and 2016. They’ve had success too, having taken the drivers’ title in the BMW Bank M3 DTM thanks to Bruno Spengler, also taking the team championship. It’s now turning its attention to international GT racing, continuing its success having already taken five victories at the 24 hours of the Nürburgring. It’s not without sadness that BMW Team Schnitzer leaves the DTM though.
“Everyone knows that BMW Team Schnitzer has a very close association with GT racing – and a great passion for endurance races,” said 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.”
In 2017, BMW Team MTEK will begin intensive testing in preparation for BMW’s entry into the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) which is to hit the road in 2018. Ernest Knoors and his team provided plenty of highlights competing in the DTM between 2013 and 2016, including the first DTM win for former F1 driver, Timo Glock. Last season they won the “Best Pit Stop Award” for the fastest pit stops of any team. 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.
Ernst Knoors said; “We competed in the DTM for the first time in 2013 with our new BMW Team MTEK – and we have learned a lot since then. This series has taught us a lot about professionalism and quality in all areas. Of course we are really looking forward to the new challenge that awaits us in the FIA WEC.”
BMW Motorsport’s new campaigns will begin with the DTM in spring 2017.