Sports Outside the Beltway

BMW to withdraw from Formula One racing

Their racers are doing dismally this year. From AP-

BMW is pulling out of Formula One at the end of this season, the second car maker to leave the series within a year.

The German company announced the decision at a news conference Wednesday, saying it wanted to use its significant F1 budget in other areas. It will remain involved in auto racing.

Since entering F1 as a team by taking over the Sauber team ahead of the 2006 season — it had previously acted as an engine supplier — BMW had posted just one race win, at last year’s Canadian Grand Prix.

Touted as a championship contender for the 2009 season, BMW lagged well behind the pace of the leading teams.

“Of course, this was a difficult decision for us. But it’s a resolute step in view of our company’s strategic realignment,” BMW chairman Norbert Reithofer said at the news conference.

He said the Munich-based car maker would use the resources previously spent on the F1 team to advance “sustainability and environmental compatibility.”

Japanese automaker Honda withdrew from Formula One before the 2009 season began. The worldwide economic slowdown is causing the auto industry to re-think its sports ventures. The PGA Tour’s Buick Open which will be played this week, is liable to be the last edition of that fifty-one-year-old event. I expect we’ll be seeing more cutbacks in the next year at least.

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