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How BMW's DTM line-up could look in 2022

BMW appears close to finalising its DTM driver line-up for the 2022 season after announcing its roster of works drivers this week.

Marco Wittmann, Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M6 GT3

Wednesday’s announcement by BMW confirmed the departure of Martin Tomczyk – who has retired from driving to take up a role in the DTM organisation – and Maximilian Gunther, who left the marque to join Nissan e.dams in Formula E.

The absence of both Timo Glock and Bruno Spengler from the Bavarian marque’s line-ups for the Rolex 24 at Daytona IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season opener led to speculation that the two veterans might likewise have been dropped.

However, both Glock and Spengler were among the 19 drivers officially under contract to BMW for its 2022 programmes.

Although BMW has not yet clarified which of its drivers will be racing where in 2022, planning in this regard is believed to be at an advanced stage, including who will represent the marque in the DTM for the second year of the championship’s GT3 era.

Two-time series champion Marco Wittmann, BMW’s top representative in the standings last year despite his relative GT3 inexperience, is set to remain on board at Walkenhorst Motorsport, with the team planning to run two M4 GT3s this year.

GT3 specialist Sheldon van der Linde is likewise expected to keep his drive, but will drive for a different team to Wittmann to ensure balance across the BMW line-up.

 

Philipp Eng meanwhile looks set for a DTM return after spending last year largely focused on BMW’s limited IMSA programme with the M8 GTE. The Austrian driver was part of the marque’s DTM roster between 2018-20, winning a race at Zolder in 2019.

What is likely to be the fourth and final BMW seat may well go to Spengler, who has made no secret of his desire to return to the series in which he became champion in 2012.

Spengler last raced in the DTM in 2019 before being shifted to BMW’s IMSA programme in 2020, but Motorsport.com understands the Canadian has been successful in finding backing from a former sponsor to secure a return.

Glock meanwhile is looking unlikely to be part of BMW’s DTM plans for 2022, which could mark the end of a nine-year spell in the series for the ex-Formula 1 driver.

The 39-year-old struggled badly in 2021 in his ROWE Racing-run M6 GT3, scoring a fraction of the points of teammate van der Linde, and it is expected he will focus his efforts on the GT World Challenge Europe series this year.

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Further evidence for this came in the form of an announcement from the Grasser Lamborghini team that Clemens Schmid will race this year with #16, the number that Glock has used since the DTM introduced personalised race numbers in 2015.

BMW's 2022 factory drivers:

Nick Catsburg (NED)
Jake Dennis (GBR)
Connor de Philippi (USA)
Stef Dusseldorp (NED)
John Edwards (USA)
Philipp Eng (AUT)
Augusto Farfus (BRA)
Timo Glock (GER)
Daniel Harper (GER)
Max Hesse (GER)
Erik Johansson (SWE)
Jens Klingmann (GER)
Jesse Krohn (FIN)
Alexander Sims (GBR)
Bruno Spengler (CAN)
Sheldon van der Linde (RSA)
Neil Verhagen (USA)
Marco Wittmann (GER)
Nick Yelloly (GBR)

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