WTCC 'still strong' despite BMW exit

World Touring Car Championship boss Marcello Lotti is confident that the series will not be too badly affected by BMW's decision not to field a works team in 2011, as the German firm will still be supporting customer teams

WTCC 'still strong' despite BMW exit

BMW announced this weekend that it would end its factory participation in the WTCC with immediate effect. It will join the DTM in 2012.

The move leaves only Chevrolet and new entrant Volvo - which is running a single-car effort in 2011 - as works participants in the WTCC, as SEAT also only supplies cars for privateers.

But Lotti said the news that BMW would continue to support independents showed that the WTCC would stay healthy.

"Our priority was to safeguard the grid and the level of competition on track," he said. "BMW's decision to offer to their WTCC teams a two-year upgrading package is a big boost for the championship that from 2011 welcomes Volvo in addition to the three brands already represented."

He added that BMW's decision not to completely halt its involvement proved that it still saw the value of the WTCC.

"We are pleased that BMW has borne our expectations out, granting continuity to their traditional commitment to production-based touring car racing, a category that has always been part of the company's DNA and gave a major contribution to promoting the BMW brand worldwide," said Lotti.

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BMW pulls works team out of WTCC

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