BMW is planning to recruit one driver from outside its existing roster for its return to DTM in 2012. The German manufacturer will prioritize its currently contracted drivers, but its motorsport boss Mario Theissen says there will probably be a spare seat.
"We have started to think about our drivers," he told AUTOSPORT. "We will first focus on our current drivers and then see if there are open cockpits.
"We expect to have to field six cars. If this is the case, there will be an open cockpit for an external driver."
Theissen expects BMW to have its first car ready for shakedown in May, with proper testing beginning in June. But he added that BMW will have to build a new engine, despite already having eligible units in its range.
"We have to design a new engine," he said. "Currently we have two four-liter V8s – the original M3 GTR engine and the one in the current M3 GT2 – but neither of them would be competitive in the DTM."
Theissen also says BMW has still not decided on its works involvement in the World Touring Car Championship next year.