BMW Motorsport has officially confirmed it will return to the WEC and Le Mans in 2024, once it has debuted the M Hybrid V8 in the IMSA GTP class for 2023.
“The decision to run the BMW M Hybrid V8 in the IMSA series from 2023, and the WEC from 2024, is a milestone for the project,” said Franciscus van Meel, CEO of BMW M GmbH. “I sampled and marveled at the extraordinary flair of the 24 Hours of Le Mans during my first term as CEO of BMW M so I am very excited to be challenging for overall victory as BMW M Motorsport again at this classic and in the whole World Endurance Championship for the first time for decades. The BMW M Hybrid V8 represents a turning point toward electrification for BMW M. The IMSA series in North America and the WEC, which takes place all over the world, are the perfect platforms on which to use our prototype to show how exciting electrified BMW M cars will be in the future.”
As to why the team will not take on Le Mans in 2023, the 100th anniversary of the blue riband event, Andreas Roos, head of BMW M Motorsport, explained, “Due to the very tight schedule for the LMDh project, the plan has always been to focus on one field of application in the first season in 2023. The IMSA series is perfectly suited for this. However, our mid-term goal was obviously to race on two fronts with the BMW M Hybrid V8, and also to use the major platform provided by the WEC and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. We are now working determinedly toward this, at the same time as our program in North America. We took the next important step on Monday. The car successfully completed its rollout at Dallara in Varano de Melegari. We now start the intensive test work before the race debut in January 2023 at Daytona.”
BMW will conduct further tests in Europe throughout August, before moving to the US in September.