RBM to scale down racing activities following BMW divorce
Racing Bart Mampaey will scale down its racing activities following last week’s announcement of BMW ending its cooperation with the team.
“It was for sure a very difficult decision to take. Racing has always been in my focus, it is my life, as is my racing team,” said team owner Bart Mampaey.
The team has currently got 30 employees that have worked with the DTM programme until the end of the current season under the BMW Team RBM banner.
“I cannot keep a full team running with all 30 employees without being able to 100 per cent confirm that we will compete and that all jobs are safe,” said Mampaey.
“My staff is very important to me, they are like a family partly since 25 years and I don’t want them to live with uncertainties.
“So it was better to take the hard decision to restructure the team and to scale down the racing activities and to see what other opportunities arise outside of motorsports. And my employees fully support me in this decision. I want to thank them all for all the great years, all their hard work and their commitment, be it in ETCC, WTCC or DTM.”
The team was formed in 1995 and entered the European Touring Car Championship in 2002 with some support from BMW. The first major title came when Andy Priaulx claimed the 2004 ETCC title, then receiving official factory support from BMW in 2006.
“It has been a fantastic time with many great victories and title wins with Andy Priaulx. Actually, my favorite moment with RBM in motorsports was when we became world champions with Andy for the first time in Macau in 2005,” said Mampaey.
“A big thank you also goes to BMW for a great partnership spanning 25 years. From the word go until the final curtain in DTM, BMW was always at our side, and our relationship will stay strong even if we withdraw as a works team.”
The team is currently evaluating its options for the future, not closing the door for further motorsport programmes.
“We want to continue racing and are seeing what options we will have. For the moment, I am looking into other opportunities where we can bring in our typical RBM values and skills,” said Mampaey.
“We have contacted external partners with this idea and they are enthusiastic and believe this could be interesting. You always say: when one door closes, another door opens. So I am excited to see what options will arise in the future.”