American Le Mans Series GT title winner Joey Hand has become the fifth driver to sign up with BMW for the 2012 DTM season.
Hand, who lifted the ALMS title driving a BMW M3 for BMW Team RLL, tested the new DTM machine during a session at the Monteblanco circuit in Spain last month and will now join Andy Priaulx, Augusto Farfus, Bruno Spengler and defending champion Martin Tomczyk as BMW makes its return to the German series next year.
The decision to sign the 32-year-old American means just one slot remains in BMW's six-driver line-up.
“Joey has been a member of the BMW family for many years, and we are extremely pleased that he will now form part of our DTM project,” BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt said. “His past successes have impressively underscored his skills set, and during the test in Monteblanco with the BMW M3 DTM he immediately proved to be very fast. We are convinced the addition of Joey to our line-up will substantially strengthen our project. In addition, his character fits into our team perfectly.”
Hand himself said he was delighted to have been chosen by BMW for its new venture.
“I am really looking forward to my new challenge in the DTM, and thank BMW sincerely for the company's confidence in me,” he said. “I immediately enjoyed the BMW M3 DTM. Its downforce and carbon brakes are extremely impressive. I know some of the team members from the past, and was able to acquaint myself with the others in Monteblanco. Now I am looking forward to our close teamwork in future!”