If you were disappointed with BMW's decision to leave Formula One at the end of last year, hold on to your hats as the Bavarian automaker is further scaling back its racing programs, announcing the discontinuation of its factory-backed World Touring Car Championship effort for next season.
The move follows a change in leadership at BMW Motorsport in which longtime director Mario Theissen is making way for incoming boss Jens Marquardt. Last year, after pulling out of the Sauber F1 team, BMW announced it was downsizing its WTCC works effort from three factory-backed teams to just one. But following its decision to compete against Audi and Mercedes-Benz in the national DTM series, it has evidently opted to shut down that single WTCC team as well.
BMW will, however, continue supplying its recently reworked 320 TC to independent teams in the WTCC, following the same path forged by SEAT in its withdrawal from the series after claiming the championship last year. The move leaves Chevrolet and Volvo (which enters the series in a limited capacity next year after dominating the Swedish Touring Car Series) as the only works teams in the series.