It was at the Essen Show (see report on pages 23, 24) that BMW Motorsport announced its plans for 1991 which, as expected, revolved around the increasingly popular and prestigious German Touring Car Championship.
Altogether they will be supporting eight M3s run by three teams throughout the championship while individual drivers will be selected on certain events.
The Warsteiner and Wintershall sponsored Schnitzer team will run Johnny Cecotto, Joachim Winkelhock and Kris Nissen while the similarly sponsored Bigazzi team will field just Steve Soper and Armin Hahne. The other three cars will be entered by the Castro! backed Linder Motorsport equipe for Dieter Quester, Altfrid Heger and Annette Meeuvissen. Emanuele Pirro, Christian Danner, Roberto Ravaglia, Prince Leopold von Bayern, Luca Maggiorelli and Jean-Pierre Malcher are the named BMW Motorsport drivers who will be entered on different events.
The whole effort will be overseen by former Grand Prix driver Marc Surer whose job is to co-ordinate the three teams.
In the meantime, Ford is rumoured to returning to the British Touring Car Championship in an official capacity rather then lend support to private teams. If they do return, it will be the first time since the Capri vs Rover Vitesse days.
There are a number of teams being considered to run the works cars, but strongest candidates are Labatt’s Bristow Sport and Trakstar, the latter already having received some unofficial factory support to help Robb Gravett on his way to the 1990 title.
Gravett himself is being heavily courted by Karl Mauer, supremo of Opel Motor Sports, to run in a works Omega 24v in the German Touring Car championship.
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