BMW V12 LMR

BMW Motorsport is terminating its long-term relationships with two factory teams, including Team Schnitzer, a partner for over 50 years, and Team RBM, a partner since 2006. BMW will continue its relationship with Team RMG; the team will work on the development of the new M4 GT3.

BMW says that, “After the premature end of the Class 1 DTM, the fields of activity for BMW’s works-based presence had to be adapted. BMW Team RMG, that previously was one of the works teams in the DTM and celebrated two driver’s titles with Marco Wittmann, will serve as a development team for the new BMW M4 GT3 in the future. In contrast, the collaboration with BMW Team RBM is ending, as there is no longer a classic works involvement in the new, customer racing-based DTM.”

Team RBM took Andy Priaulx to three World Touring Car Championships, two of them before it became an official factory team in 2006. The team ran for BMW in DTM from the marque’s return to the series in 2012 through the 2020 season.

RBM Team Principal Bart Mampaey says, “It is a great shame, but we respect the fact that BMW Motorsport is unable to continue the collaboration with us as a works team. I would like to thank BMW for the fantastic partnership, which we have enjoyed for 25 long years. BMW has always been at our side, from the very beginning to the final curtain in the DTM, and our relationship will remain a strong one, even if we are no longer a works team. Times are changing and we are all facing a challenging future. At RBM, we will initially reduce our racing activities. However, that does not mean this is the end of our motorsport chapter. We want to continue in motor racing and see what options arise. I also think that we can apply the values and skills that we have at RBM in other industries outside motorsport. They always say: when one door closes, another one opens. So I am very excited to see what opportunities come our way in the future.”

BMW says that Team Schnitzer’s departure was linked to “the necessary realignment of the works-based team structure.” Among the team’s many accomplishments over the course of a relationship with BMW that has spanned over half a century have been titles in the European and World Touring Car Championships and DTM and BMW’s 1999 win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the V12 LMR (shown here on a return to the circuit for an exhibition run in 2019). In recent years the team ran M6 GT3s in the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring, the GT World Cup in Macau, and the Intercontinental GT Challenge.

Herbert Schnitzer junior, team principal BMW Team Schnitzer, says, “We very much regret that, given the changes in motorsport, it is no longer possible to continue the cooperation with BMW Motorsport. However, we obviously understand and respect the decision. We are proud that we Schnitzers have, together with BMW, shaped international motorsport for so many decades. It is a pleasure to look back on all the big successes we have enjoyed together in such a wide range of categories. We are also very proud to be a part of motorsport history at BMW. We would like to thank BMW Motorsport for this long, unique partnership. BMW was our life and our passion.”

BMW has not yet announced plans for factory involvement with the M6 GT3 in 2021; the M4 GT3 will replace the proven M6 GT3 as BMW’s high-end customer race car in 2022.—Brian Morgan

[Photos courtesy BMW Motorsport.]

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