BMW confirms WEC hypercar entry for 2024  

BMW Motorsport has confirmed this Tuesday that it will enter the World Endurance Championship in 2024 in the hypercar category (top class), just one season after its arrival at the American IMSA contest in 2023. The news has come a day after the BMW M Hybrid V8 (LMDh) hit the track for the first time in Italy. The Bavarian firm will compete in both events with the new prototype.   

One of the German giant’s primary objectives, as they revealed before, will be the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2024, an edition that marks the 25th anniversary of the last victory of one of its prototypes at the legendary French round. It was in 1999, when the V12 LMR driven by Yannick Dalmas, Joachim Winkelhock and Pierluigi Martini claimed the coveted victory. 

The Germans will therefore return to the WEC where they last competed briefly during the 2018-19 super-season with the M8 GTE. After that, they changed their sporting strategy and made the move to the US IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. 

Tests with an eye on the US challenge

The new vehicle (LMDh) took its first steps this past Monday, July 25, in Varano, a circuit near the Dallara facilities, a company that manufactures its chassis in collaboration with BMW. Official drivers Connor De Phillippi and Sheldon van der Linde took turns at the wheel during the shakedown. 

BMW is now the fourth manufacturer to have successfully tested its LMDh car following fellow IMSA GTP class 2023 competitors Porsche, Cadillac and Acura. Starting at the aforementioned Italian track and throughout the month of August, the German vehicle will be subjected to an intense testing program in Europe. Later on, probably during the month of September, the firm will travel to the other side of the Atlantic to begin the specific preparations for the American contest. 

In compliance with the IMSA GTP regulations, for the M Hybrid V8 to be homologated to compete, it must take part in one of two sessions scheduled to take place at the Road Atlanta Circuit from October 3 to 5 and the Daytona International Speedway from December 6 to 7. Their United States’ actual competition debut will then be at the 24 Hours of Daytona 2023, from January 28 to 29. 

A DTM engine

BMW’s new hypercar will be powered by the turbocharged version of the P66/3 engine that was featured in the brand’s M4 DTM vehicles between 2018 and 2019. The four-litre V8 engine has been integrated with a single-make hybrid system co-built by Williams Advanced Engineering, Bosch and Xtrac. 
Images of BMW prototype: BMW Motorsport. 

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