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BMW reshuffles efforts with two-team assault for 2017

With the grid for the 2017 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters season being culled by a quarter to 18 in total, BMW Motorsport has decided to reorganise their team structures to two teams, each running three cars.

Both Team RBM and Team RMG now will remain within the series, whilst both Team Schnitzer and Team MTEK will focus on BMW Motorsport’s realigned efforts within other categories.

RMG, who currently field two-time champion Marco Wittmann, joined BMW back in 2012, to help in the efforts to ensure the brand’s competitiveness on a blank canvas.

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The efforts of Stefan Reinhold’s outfit have been rewarded three fold over the past five seasons, with Wittmann taking two titles over the past three years. This is along with securing the Team Title in the 26-year-old’s maiden title year back in 2014.

RBM, run by Bert Mampaey, will also assist in the new development of the 2017 car, which has been out on track with the likes of Bruno Spengler and Augusto Farfus putting the new “hybrid” vehicle through its paces.

The Mechelen-based outfit has to date, taken four wins and 12 podium finishes so far, and will continue to strive for more success in the DTM in the years to come.

This restructure sees both Schnitzer and MTEK depart for new adventures, with Charly Lamm’s team returning to their roots in GT racing, which will include a return to races such as the iconic Nürburgring 24 Hours, where they have won five times previously.

Ernest Knoors’ team will now be the backbone for BMW Motorsport’s return to top-flight endurance racing, as the Munich manufacturer will compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s GTE Pro category from 2018 onwards.

“I am convinced that this is the best team structure to help us prepare for our new tasks,” said Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt, who felt that it was the best decision to keep their associations with the teams that have served them well.

“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 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. I would like to thank Charly Lamm, Ernest Knoors and their crews for their dedication throughout the past DTM seasons – and we can now look forward to competing together in many more races in the future.”

Lamm himself, felt mixed emotions on their departure from the DTM, ahead of a refreshed challenge towards the world of GT racing.

“We have had a very intense time in this fiercely-competitive series, with numerous challenges and just as many nice moments,” he said, admitting the best highlight of their short spell being the title win in 2012.

“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.”

The six-strong line-up for BMW’s assault on the DTM for the 2017 season will be announced at the customary BMW Motorsport Season Review event in Munich on the 9th of December, with Wittmann being on course to defend his title with the brand.

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