EU3: Andreas Wirth returns to racing

Heidelberg, Germany -- May 18, 2009 -- Andreas Wirth Makes an Exciting Return to Racing. It is with great pride today that Andreas Wirth officially announces his return to racing with the factory racing Team BMW ALPINA in the FIA GT3 European ...

Heidelberg, Germany -- May 18, 2009 -- Andreas Wirth Makes an Exciting Return to Racing. It is with great pride today that Andreas Wirth officially announces his return to racing with the factory racing Team BMW ALPINA in the FIA GT3 European Championship, the GT Masters, the 24h of the Nurburgring and VLN racing series.

"I can't tell you how good it feels to make this announcement today," Andreas began with a big smile. "It's been a tough couple of years, but now that everything's coming together, that's all behind me -- now we can race! I've always been determined to be in a race car -- that's just who I am -- it's really been a lot of hard work and determination that got me here, and of course I couldn't have done it without all of the love and support of my friends and family. Fortunately all of the effort and hard times have paid off -- I couldn't ask for a better opportunity than to be running as a factory driver with BMW ALPINA."

Explaining further, Wirth said, "I've already been testing a lot with the team this year, and I even had the chance to turn a few laps in competition at the Nordschleife in a VLN endurance race, but finally having confirmation to run with ALPINA in the GT3 European Championship -- that's where the real excitement begins! We're running two cars this year, and I have to say what an honour it is to be sharing the cockpit with our team boss, Andreas Bovensiepen (son of ALPINA founder Burkard Bovensiepen). He's just an awesome guy, not afraid to get right in there with the guys to make the car better -- even if that means getting underneath it. What else can I say; it's going to be an awesome season! I'm really looking forward to working with these guys -- they're a great group of people, and it's really exciting to be a part of ALPINA's return to motorsport."

ALPINA too are celebrating their return to motorsport in 2009, after their 20-year hiatus, with the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3. With a successful history in international motorsports, ALPINA have enjoyed among other victories, being the European Touring Car Champions three times with such renowned drivers as Derek Bell, James Hunt, Jacky Ickx, Niki Lauda, Hans Joachim Stuck and Dieter Quester behind the wheel.

While relatively new, the GT3 series is one of the most competitive sportscar championships in the world, boasting a field of the world's best production-based sportscars from twelve renowned automakers such as Porsche, Audi, Aston Martin, Jaguar, BMW, Corvette, Ferrari and Lamborghini. Andreas hopes that his fans from around the world will continue to show their support and follow his racing career as he competes in this extremely exciting and exceptional racing series.

Wirth is poised to participate this coming weekend in one of the greatest endurance races in the world: 24 Hours of the Nurburgring. The ADAC Zurich 24h-Race takes place May 21 -- 24 at the Nurburgring Nordschleife in Germany. For further details and live video coverage of this notable racing event, visit: http://adac.24h-rennen.de. Audio-only coverage of this event will also be available at: http://rlm08.0157.org/n24.php

For a complete list of events where Andreas is confirmed for competition, please visit his website at www.AndreasWirth.com and refer to the "Season" page.

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About ALPINA:

ALPINA's history is closely linked to performance enhancement and racing. The first product introduced by Burkard Bovensiepen, the company's founder, was a dual-carburettor system for the BMW 1500 in 1961. ALPINA has come a long way since then. Today, integrated in BMW's just-in-time (JIT) production system, ALPINA is recognised as an independent automobile manufacturer, producing cars ranging from the 200 PS, entry-level diesel-powered D3 to the V8, 500 PS, B5, B6 and B7 models.

This BMW-backed factory racing team will field two race cars in the FIA GT3 European Championship, as well as national GT3 races in Belgium, Brazil, Germany, England, France and Italy. The VLN Endurance Series on the Nurburgring Nordschleife is also planned, as well as selected 24-hour endurance races.

For more information on ALPINA the manufacturer, visit www.alpina.de and ALPINA motorsport, visit www.alpina-gt3.com.

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For further information please contact: Gail Shankland Media & Public Relations AW Motorsport AndreasWirthPR@gmail.com

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Series ENDURANCE , BSS