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When the automobile world assembles in Geneva (CH), it would not be complete without the sportiest BMW in the range. Ahead of the official opening of the 82nd Geneva Motor Show, the brand used the media day to present the BMW M3 DTM, with which BMW will make its comeback in the DTM this season.
Before the thoroughbred racing car took centre stage, however, a great honour was first bestowed upon BMW DTM driver Bruno Spengler (CA): in the presence of Dr. Klaus Draeger, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for development, and Dr. Friedrich Nitschke, President of BMW M GmbH, the 28-year-old took to the stage in the BMW Concept M135i. Following this world debut, BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt provided those present with the latest information on preparations for the DTM season.
“The countdown to BMW’s first race in the DTM has been on since 1992,” said Marquardt. “1st March was a milestone for all the manufacturers involved. The intensive development stage drew to a close with the homologation of the BMW M3 DTM by the Deutscher Motor Sport Bund (German Motor Sport Federation). Large parts of the design can no longer be changed. After all the hard work put in by BMW Motorsport and our teams over the past weeks and months, I am confident that the BMW M3 DTM will provide us with an excellent basis for our comeback season in the DTM. We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but we will go about it in our usual highly-motivated manner.”
Spengler and his fellow drivers have completed thousands of kilometres of testing in the BMW M3 DTM over the past weeks and months. Despite this, the Canadian was still impressed by just a short drive in the BMW Concept M135i. “This car is a real top athlete,” he said. ”You immediately feel the overwhelming desire of the in-line, six-cylinder engine to drive the car forwards. At the same time, this BMW 1 Series is absolutely ideal for everyday use, making it the perfect link between road and racetrack.”
The engineers at BMW Motorsport and BMW M GmbH also worked closely together when developing the BMW M3 DTM, as Marquardt confirmed: “Both sides benefit from this interaction: the engineers in production development experience at close hand the special racing feeling you get with every BMW M automobile. At the same time, we are able to take advantage of the resources and experience of BMW M. The results of this cooperation speak for themselves. We will be doing everything in our power to ensure making positive headlines with the letter M in the 2012 DTM, and that we present BMW M GmbH with a gift or two to mark the 40th anniversary of its existence.”
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