Spa 24 Hour-winning squad Walkenhorst Motorsport has announced that it will enter the DTM this season, ensuring the venerable BMW M6 GT3 will be represented in the revamped series.
After the withdrawal of Audi from the DTM last year, the Class 1 rule-set was scrapped and has been replaced by the popular GT3 formula, with Mercedes, Audi, Ferrari and McLaren set to be represented.
BMW pledged support for the DTM’s new era last year, but warned that it won’t officially get involved in the series until its new M4 challenger is homologated in September.
It, however, stated that customer teams are free to contest the 2021 season with the outgoing M6 model, which was introduced for the 2016 season, paving the way for Walkenhorst to enter.
The 2018 Spa 24 Hour-winning squad, which took victories in the Indianapolis 8 Hours and Kyalami 9 Hours last year in BMW’s title-winning Intercontinental GT Challenge programme, made no mention of how many cars it would enter or who will be a part of its driver line-up.
It has already competed on DTM weekends in the past, having contested the inaugural season of the GT4-based DTM Trophy last year with a two M4s, and intends to continue racing in the DTM Trophy on top of its newly-announced programme in the senior GT3-based category.
“We are delighted to announce our involvement in the DTM. As a team, we have worked very hard to turn the DTM project into reality,” team manager Niclas Konigbauer said.
“After our international achievements in the past years, graduating into the high-class DTM is a logical step to expand our involvement in GT3 racing.
“It is our aim to compete at the highest level in motorsport, so as a result, it was clear to us that the DTM is the place to be.
“During the races in the junior category, we got to know and appreciate the DTM platform and have established many contacts. That was highly valuable to us.
“Currently, we are planning a double programme and are working on repeating our commitment in the DTM Trophy as now, optimum synergies have been created for teams on the DTM platform.”
Meanwhile, the 2Seas Motorsport squad that had previously announced its DTM entry with two McLaren 720S GT3s has decided to switch to Mercedes. Its DTM programme was not referenced in a team statement announcing the move.
Team manager Jay Davenport told Autosport: “We have this DTM entry and are looking at the options.
“It’s also complicated because of COVID – and the calendars are constantly changing. We talk to different people about different series – and see what goes together.”