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DTM NEWS 

Mercedes and Audi welcome BMW

Mercedes and Audi's motorsport chiefs have welcomed the news that BMW intends to return to the DTM in 2012.

The Munich-based manufacturer confirmed earlier today that it will work towards being ready to join the series in 2012, a move that has been supported by key figures from the DTM.

Audi Sport boss Wolfgang Ullrich said: "On behalf of Audi I want to say right now: 'Welcome to DTM.' We look forward to the new competitors from Munich who most definitely will prove to be extremely competitive.

"With its long and successful motor-racing tradition, BMW suits DTM perfectly. I'm convinced that the squad will learn quickly to demonstrate its competitiveness within a short period of time."

Mercedes-Benz motorsport boss Norbert Haug added that BMW's announcement justified the efforts of Mercedes and Audi to keep the series running since Opel withdrew at the end of 2005.

"This is great news - not only for DTM alone but for the entire motor-racing world," said Haug. "

"It underlines that the decision of Audi and Mercedes-Benz to stand in the DTM even in difficult times was an important and productive one. Otherwise, this outstanding platform wouldn't exist any more."

Hans Werner Aufrecht, boss of series promoter ITR, also welcomed the news, and said that series bosses could now work towards strengthening the championship in years to come.

"BMW in DTM - that's something the DTM enthusiasts have been waiting for for quite a while," he said.

"We always tried to pave the way for a DTM involvement of other manufacturers. And this effort seems to bear fruit, now.

"Now we mustn't rest on our laurels but have to keep on working hard on the DTM platform. I'm convinced that we are on the right track with the new DTM regulations, and we'd like to welcome BMW in the DTM fraternity."

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