BMW Australia has announced that it will throw its hat back into the ring of domestic motorsport, but rather than aim for glory in the V8 Supercars series the German marque has set its sights on the Australian GT Championship instead.
Steve Richards will be at the helm of the factory-backed M6 GT3, with his team Steve Richards Motorsport supporting it under the name of SRM Team BMW.
SRM Team BMW will also provide support to any other teams who decide to field the recently-unveiled M6 GT3 in the Australian GT Championship.
Following the car's inaugural run at Melbourne, SRM Team BMW will take the M6 GT3 to all four rounds of the Australian GT Championship's Endurance category, which will be held at Phillip Island, Sydney Motorsport Park, Hampton Downs and Highlands Park.
“The first season with the BMW M6 GT3 will certainly be exciting," said Steve Richards.
"It is a completely different concept to its predecessor, the BMW Z4 GT3.
“As such, a lot will be new, so it is hard to predict how quickly we will be up among the front-runners. However, I am impressed by the support offered by BMW Motorsport in Munich and BMW Group Australia.
"Everyone is doing their best to make the project a success as quickly as possible."
Revealed at the IAA Cars 2015 show in September, the M6 GT3 is touted as BMW's "most economic" GT race car ever.
Despite being based on the flagship M6 Coupe, which retails for $292,600, the M6 GT3 is said to have lower running costs than its predecessor the Z4 GT3, along with longer lifecycles for many components.
The M6 also boasts more power, with its 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8 making up to 430kW compared to the 394kW of the Z4 GT3's 4.4 litre bent-eight.
A six-speed sequential manual replaces the standard seven-speed twin-clutch auto, and the M6 GT3 weighs slightly less than 1300kg in race trim. How much? BMW says each car costs 379,000 Euros, or AU$571,570 in today's money.