Munich, Monday: German car manufacturer and prominent motorsport competitor BMW today declared its intention to cease competition in Formula BMW, citing spiralling costs and the global economic crisis as reasons for its sudden withdrawal.
The junior series, with categories in Germany, Asia, the United States and the UK, has proven a valuable single-seater series for karting graduates, with stars such as Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel graduating through the category into higher motorsports. However, a spokesman for the Bavarian manufacturer today claimed that it was no longer possible for BMW to participate in Formula BMW.
“BMW will no longer take part as either a competitor or the title sponsor of Formula BMW,” he said. “The condition of the global economy and the fact that we have faced competitive difficulties in the series in recent years means that we are no longer prepared to spend millions of dollars funding this motorsport effort.
“The competitive gains achieved by the company in these championships were far outweighed by the cost of competition,” he continued. “Every race, a BMW seemed to come in last. That’s hardly indicative of the spirit of winning we want to encourage.”
He assured journalists, however, that BMW’s other motorsport commitments, for example in Formula One and ALMS, would remain unaffected.
Where this leaves Formula BMW now remains to be seen. Technically the competitors in each of the series’ four championships still have Mygale chassis available for use, but with nobody to run them the prospect of a serious competition looks remote. “Perhaps they could try another low single-seater series, like Formula Ford or Superleague Formula,” the spokesman helpfully suggested.
Rumours that BMW may find a buyer for their Formula BMW outfit have been flying around almost non-stop since the company’s decision was announced, but with Mexican billionaires and former rallying bosses distancing themselves from a buyout, the outlook for the series looks bleak.