BMW has confirmed it will compete in the German DTM championship in 2012 for the first time in 18 years.
The announcement ends months of speculation and sees the manufacturer returning to the series it last raced in back in 1994.
BMW initially announced its intent to compete in the series back in April, but only committed subject to talks concerning the regulations of the series. The firm has confirmed that it plans to use the M3 as the basis for its new challenger.
Klaus Draeger, BMW's R&D chief, said: “The return of BMW to the DTM is a fundamental part of the restructuring of our motorsport activities. With its increased commitment to production car racing, BMW is returning to its roots.”
Mario Thiessen, BMW motorsport boss, added: “The entire team at BMW Motorsport is approaching this exciting project with absolute commitment.” Thiessen oversaw BMW’s involvement in F1 between 2000 and 2009, first as an engine supplier to the Williams team and then as an outright manufacturer.
BMW has won the DTM twice in the past with drivers Eric van de Poele and Roberto Ravaglia winning with E30 M3s in 1987 and 1989 respectively.