One of the worst-kept secrets in the DTM driver market has been confirmed, with BMW announcing that Mercedes stalwart Bruno Spengler will join its ranks when it makes its return to the championship in 2012.
The 28-year-old French-born Canadian is a twice runner-up in the DTM Drivers’ Championship (2006-7), and the nine-time winner will be a huge boost to BMW’s programme.
“In recent weeks we have not only been developing the BMW M3 DTM, but have also been working on the driver line-up for our return to the DTM,” BMW motorsport boss Jens Marquardt said of the announcement.
“Outside our current line-up, Bruno Spengler was one of our top choices.
“Despite his youth he has a lot of DTM experience, which will greatly assist us during our development phase and on race weekends. For this reason, we did not hesitate when the opportunity to sign Bruno up arose.”
Spangler’s motorsport career began in formula Renault and Formula 3 before he made his DTM debut in 2005. He won his first race in his second season of competition, and he has since gone on to be one of the championship’s leading drivers.
Spengler will join three-time World Touring Car champion Andy Priaulx and former WTCC racer Augusto Farfus in the team’s six-car line-up.
BMW will run six BMW M3 DTMs next season, spread over three teams – Schnitzer, RBM and RMG – although it has not disclosed who will drive for which teams.
The carmaker will confirm the identities of its remaining three drivers in due course, and it is widely believed that former F1 driver Nick Heidfeld will be one of the signed drivers.
[Image via LAT]