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ROWE Confirms DTM Program with BMW

Spa, N24 winner ROWE announces DTM program with up to two BMW M6 GT3s…

Image: ROWE Racing

Reigning Total 24 Hours of Spa and Nürburgring 24 winner ROWE Racing has confirmed that it will make its DTM debut this year with up to two BMW M6 GT3s.

The German squad, which is run by Motorsport Competence Group, is embarking on a domestic sprint racing program in 2021 under the DTM’s new GT3 ruleset.

ROWE has not confirmed the driver lineup for its maiden DTM campaign.

The team is set to maintain its involvement in endurance racing this year through the Nürburgring 24 and NLS, with a BMW program understood to be in the works.

ROWE Racing won last year’s N24 with a BMW M6 GT3 driven by Nick Yelloly, Nicky Catsburg and Alexander Sims. It also claimed victory in the 24 Hours of Spa with Nick Tandy, Laurens Vanthoor and Earl Bamber sharing a Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Those triumphs cemented ROWE as the first outfit to win both the Spa and Nürburgring 24-hour classics in the same year since Phoenix Racing in 2012.

ROWE Racing’s DTM program is likely to come at the expense of its Spa-focused Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup project with Porsche.

Last month ROWE Racing team principal Hans-Peter Naundorf strongly hinted at the team’s DTM involvement and told Sportscar365 that it would need to choose between the DTM and GTWC Europe rather than seeking parallel entries in the two series.

No word has been made on the future of the organization’s Porsche program. Naundorf has indicated that while a maximum of two BMWs will be entered into the DTM, the team’s involvement in the series is a minimum two-car affair.

“Entering the DTM is a great story for ROWE Racing,” said Naundorf following confirmation of ROWE Racing’s DTM debut.

“The DTM has a rich tradition and has been the most popular and hiqh-class touring car series in Europe for many years.

“It has been on our radar, as a team, for a while. The fact that it is now finally possible for ROWE Racing to enter the DTM, thanks to the series’ switch to GT3 sports cars, is great for me personally, as my motorsport roots lie in the DTM.

“It is fantastic to now be there from the beginning in a DTM based on new technical regulations.

“Entering the DTM, with its sprint races, high-class teams and drivers, as well as cars from at least five manufacturers, is a big new challenge for our team – but one that we are happy to take on and gives us a lot of motivation.

“The large and loyal fan base of the DTM, and the esteem it is held in in many countries around the world, makes it very attractive for our partner ROWE Mineralöwerk GMBH too.

“Incidentally, entering the DTM does not mean that we will turn our back on our beloved endurance racing. We are also planning an extensive program on the Nürburgring Nordschleife this season.”

ROWE Racing is the second BMW team to commit to the DTM’s new GT3 era, after 2018 Spa 24 Hours winner Walkenhorst Motorsport last month.

Naundorf previously looked at taking MCG and ROWE into the DTM in 2019 under the Class One regulations, which have been replaced by GT3 starting from this year.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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