BMW has confirmed that the 2019 season was Bruno Spengler’s last in the DTM, with the 2012 champion departing to race a BMW M8 GTE in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Spengler brings the curtain down on a hugely successful 195-race career in the DTM, which began in 2005 with Mercedes-Benz.
In that time the Canadian has amassed 16 race victories and 51 podium finishes in the series, culminating in him securing the 2012 drivers’ championship in his first year after switching to BMW.
After that hugely successful title year for Spengler, success came left often, with the 36-year-old only winning three more races in the 112 races after his title success.
Spengler will take part in his first race for BMW Team RLL at the 24 Hours of Daytona in January 2020. The Canadian is also a reserve ands test driver for the BMW i Andretti Motorsport Formula E team.
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt paid tribute to Spengler’s efforts in the DTM for the brand, which concluded with him finishing ninth overall in the 2019 standings after claiming one win at the Norisring.
“Very few drivers have had as big an influence on the DTM as Bruno Spengler has in the past 15 years,” said Marquardt.
“In winning the title in his first season for BMW in 2012, he achieved something that nobody believed possible at the time. In doing so, he earned a permanent place in the history of BMW Motorsport.
“Of the 122 DTM races he has contested for us, he won seven. His latest victory at the Norisring last season was another very emotional one.
“The fact that he broke the 1000-point mark in his 15th season in 2019 underlines the outstanding status that Bruno has earned for himself in the DTM.
“Nevertheless, we were of the opinion that 2020 is the right time to head in a new direction together for the coming years.
“This decision was not an easy one for us. However, as we do at the end of every season, we took a very close look at our squad of drivers and are confident that Bruno, with all his experience, can help us make progress in the IMSA series.
“He will also be used as a reserve and test driver in Formula E. I am happy that we are able to keep Bruno as a valuable member of the BMW family.
“We will ensure that he can bid a worthy farewell to BMW fans in the DTM next year.”
Spengler admits that he is disappointed to have lost his DTM race seat for 2020. He also paid tribute to the late Charly Lamm from Team Schnitzer, with whom he spent three years competing in 2012 to 2014.
“Firstly, I am obviously disappointed that I will no longer be racing in the DTM in 2020,” said Spengler. “I had a fantastic time for 15 years, during which time the DTM became part of my family.
“I have been racing in the DTM for almost half of my life. In my 195 races, I have enjoyed some fantastic success – above all, of course, my title win with BMW at Hockenheim in 2012. This title win will forever be very closely linked to Charly Lamm for me.
“As a sportsman, I would obviously have liked to have stuck around for a few more years.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my mechanics and engineers who I have worked with all these years, and with whom I have celebrated so many successes.
“Even though it has come as something of a surprise to me that I won’t be contesting my 16th DTM season, I’m looking ahead.
“I feel right at home in the BMW family, am about to face a new challenge, and am ready to write a new chapter in my career.
“I know the BMW M8 GTE, BMW Team RLL and some of the circuits in North America. As such, I think I will find my feet quickly there.
“For me as a Canadian, it will certainly be a highlight to line up at a genuine home race for the first time in a long time, at the race at Mosport in the summer.
“I will really miss the DTM fans. I am looking forward to saying ‘goodbye’ to them in 2020.”