BMW returns to ALMS with M3 race car

BMW chose the Chicago Auto Show to announce its re-entry into American Le Mans Series racing. The German automaker revealed a race-prepared M3 coupe, festooned with a large rear spoiler, aggressive fender flares around the wheels and a stripped interior complete with built-in roll cage. The M3's V8 has been up-rated to 485 horsepower.

Race team owner Bobby Rahal was on hand to help announce BMW's return to ALMS racing, which will take place for the 2009 racing season. Rahal has previously campaigned BMW racing cars in ALMS.

"We are very pleased to be returning to the American Le Mans Series with our latest generation BMW M3," states Tom Purves, Chairman and CEO, BMW of North America.

"Sports car racing has been part of BMW of North America's history practically from day one. Just two weeks after the company was incorporated in March 1975, a BMW CSL won the Twelve Hours of Sebring. We are confident that the fourth generation M3 will continue the legacy of its two predecessors which combined to win six manufacturer's championships over nine seasons in US sports car racing. As it has been in the past we believe the ALMS is the ideal venue to showcase the potential of the newest BMW M3."