860 × 483
BMW made a brief but very strong statement in prototype racing in the late 1990s. The V12 LMR claimed victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 12 Hours of Sebring in 1999, two of the most significant endurance races in the world. BMW Motorsport has remained active and successful in GT racing since then, but the new worldwide regulations for top-tier prototypes have enticed some of the strongest motorsports programs in the world to rediscover that thrill of competition. BMW has now confirmed a two-car entry in IMSA’s LMDh class beginning at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2023.
IMSA and the ACO made waves in 2020 by announcing a plan of convergence for the top classes of sports racing across the globe, allowing cars to run the world’s most famous endurance races such as Daytona and Le Mans. Manufacturers have flocked to this idea with the lofty goals of winning these races outright, with BMW as the latest to confirm a factory-backed program—though there has not been an indication that the program will be traveling overseas just yet.
The LMDh platform is a cost-saving formula that combines spec components with manufacturer-supplied power and design, ensuring that budgets stay competitive but each team has the ability to create a package that looks and sounds true to the brand. The powertrain will be a hybrid unit, with a universal electric motor being paired to each team’s bespoke petrol engine. The underpinning chassis is LMP2-based and is available from one of 4 different constructors. BMW has not yet confirmed any of these details but is expected to do so soon.
BMW has a strong commitment to GT3 around the world with the next generation set to hit the track this year. The M4 GT3 will be the competitor to take on the Nürburgring, Spa, and IMSA’s North American rotation in GTD and GTD-PRO. But BMW M CEO Markus Flash said he is a “strong believer that there is room on top of GT3,” and the latest forecasts show a flurry of competitive energy moving into LMDh.
Categories: Social, News