Joey Hand's BMW M3 in action at Long Beach - Anne Proffit photoEnlarge Photo
American Le Mans Series GT champion Joey Hand is headed to Germany to compete with the BMW factory team in the 2012 DTM series. He is one of six drivers on the factory team with one seat left to fill.
BMW already confirmed Andy Priaux, Augusto Farfus, Bruno Spengler and reigning DTM titleholder Martin Tomczyk as its factory drivers in the vaunted German touring car series for the 2012 season.
"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," said Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport director.
"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 lineup will substantially strengthen our project. In addition, his character fits into our team perfectly."
Hand, 32, has driven for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in ALMS' GT category the past few years. He came up through karting and smaller formula cars and contested Formula BMW USA in 2004 - that's how long his relationship with the auto manufacturer has existed.
The California native has successfully raced BMW race cars in ALMS - where he and BMW celebrated their hat trick this year as they earned driver's and manufacturer's crowns - and in the Rolex Sports Car Series (he was on the winning 2011 Rolex 24 at Daytona No. 01 BMW/Riley team from Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates), as well as in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.
"I am really looking forward to my new challenge in the DTM and thank BMW sincerely for the company's confidence in me," Hand 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 the future."
© 2011 Anne Proffit