As they prepare to make their return to DTM, BMW have added newly crowned DTM champion Martin Tomczyk to the line up for their works team for the 2012 DTM season.
The 29-year-old German joins an international line-up alongside Britain’s three-time WTCC champion Andy Priaulx, Augusto Farfus of Brazil and Canadian DTM regular Bruno Spengler.
“With Martin Tomczyk, we are proud to have gained an absolute top-notch driver,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “He is one of the most experienced DTM drivers around: he’s consistently fast, of impeccable character and an out-and-out winner.”
It means Tomczyk, who was born near BMW HQ in Rosenheim, Bavaria, leaves Audi after 11 years which began with him taking to the track as a teenager and DTM’s youngest ever competitor, and finished with him crowned 2011 champion.
"I won the championship for Audi after 11 years together. The entire Audi Sport team and in particular Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich have always been behind me," said Tomczyk. "I’m delighted that I could repay their trust by winning the 2011 championship title together with team Phoenix.
"Despite this joint success, and after careful consideration, I have now decided to accept a new challenge. I would once again like to thank everybody at Audi Sport. These 11 years were very special."
While it’s an emotional departure, Tomczyk leaves Ingolstadt with the team’s blessing. "It goes without saying that we deeply regret that he decided, at this moment in time, to seek a new challenge after his most successful DTM season with Audi," said Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport.
"I can, however, completely understand that after 11 special years of highs and lows with Audi he would like to try something new – after all by winning the DTM title at the wheel of an Audi A4 DTM he has achieved exactly the goal for which he was worked so hard for many years.
“I’m personally delighted that Martin showed his many critics this year because I always believed in him. I wish him all the best for the future."
Tomczyk will get his first taste of the BMW M3 DTM at the DTM tests in Monteblanco, Spain, on December 6.