American Le Mans Series champion Joey Hand has been announced as the latest driver to join BMW’s DTM line-up in 2012.
The 32-year-old has enjoyed a long relationship with the German carmaker since he made his Formula BMW debut in 2004, and his win at this year’s Dayton 24 Hours and claiming the GTE title in the ALMS earned him a testing opportunity in BMW’s new DTM M3 challenger in Spain.
His performance was enough to impress BMW officials, and he becomes the first American to join the series since the championship was re-formed. One of his biggest challenges will be his lack of experience on European circuits, having spent almost all of his professional racing career in North America.
“Joey has been a member of the BMW family for many years, and we are extremely pleased that he will now form part of our DTM project,” BMW motorsport boss Jens Marquardt said.
“His past successes have impressively underscored his skills set, and during the test in Monteblanco with the BMW M3 DTM he immediately proved to be very fast.
“We are convinced the addition of Joey to our line-up will substantially strengthen our project. In addition, his character fits into our team perfectly.”
Hand becomes the fifth driver to join BMW’s six-car DTM roster. While the exact make-up of the carmaker’s three teams has not yet been confirmed, he will represent the marque alongside fellow factory drivers Augusto Farfus and Andy Priaulx, as well as reigning DTM champion Martin Tomczyk and veteran DTM frontrunner Bruno Spengler.
[Image via SPEED]