BMW to Scrap FIA WTCC Programme for DTM?

German carmaker BMW has impressed a lot of motor racing fans in recent months, as they have confirmed two brand new programmes in series that are currently growing in popularity. After the confirmation that they'll step into the DTM starting the 2012 season, BMW also announced that it will resume action in the World Rally Championship as of 2011, through its MINI brand.

According to Autosport however, BMW are planning to ditch one racing programme from their current scheme in exchange of their new DTM commitment. It seems the motorsport director of BMW, Mario Theissen, has told the aforementioned publication that the Munich marque will be unable to sustain 3 motor racing programmes in 2012.

For the time being, the championships in which BMW is a contender as a works team are the FIA WTCC and the sportscar (GT) series. In the former, the German manufacturer is still to confirm its commitment for the upcoming season – although it did dramatically reduce its effort for the 2010 season to only 2 cars – while the GT project runs out at the end of 2011.

Bottom line, BMW will have to choose between the two series in one year time. Or maybe it will happen from as early as this year, as we're more inclined to believe the WTCC programme will be the one to be axed. And that's despite the fact that BMW is pushing ahead with the development of their 1.6-litre turbocharged engine.

According to Theissen, this unit will be sold to customer teams in touring car competitions from all over the world, while primarily developed to power the MINI Countryman WRC car starting next year.

Last year, following some continuous complaints regarding the technical rulebook of the FIA WTCC, BMW decided to scrap a few cars from their programme, while retaining only two: for Andy Priaulx and Augusto Farfus. Instead, a clear indicator of their serious plans for the GT series is that BMW will compete in all three rounds of the inaugural Le Mans Intercontinental Cup in 2010, through the Schnitzer and Rahal Letterman teams.
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