BMW is one of four new Hypercar constructors set to compete in the class next season. The others are Alpine, Lamborghini and Isotta Fraschini. The German carmaker will enter its M Hybrid V8 based on a Dallara chassis and equipped with a V8 engine (approximately 640 hp) coupled to a Bosch hybrid system, in accordance with the regulations.
A Full IMSA Season Under its Belt
BMW will join the FIA WEC off the back of an entire season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with BMW M Team RLL. This year, the M Hybrid V8 won the Watkins Glen round and took the start in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans. Two cars are set to participate in the 2024 FIA WEC under the banner of Team WRT. The Belgian outfit won the LMP2 class at the 2021 24 Hours and the FIA Endurance LMP2 Teams trophy the same year. Andrea Ross, Head of BMW M Motorsport: "The successes and extensive experience make Team WRT the ideal partner for our return to Le Mans. From the word go, discussions with Vincent Vosse and his partners were very positive. It was immediately clear that we share a passion for the WEC project and the BMW M Hybrid V8, and it did not take long to come to an agreement on collaboration."
The Countdown Is On
Team WRT kicked off its FIA WEC preparation in September at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit with three days of testing. The team focused on optimising the M Hybrid V8's systems and performance level, as well as getting to know the car better. BMW will endeavor to cover as many kilometres as possible ahead of the Qatar 1812, first round of the 2024 FIA WEC, on 2 March. Roos: "We are right on schedule. It's clear that having the vehicle in both race action in the IMSA series and testing here in Europe is a benefit. The dual pool of experiences benefits all sides, BMW M Team WRT as well as BMW M Team RLL and our BMW M Motorsport engineers."
Eight official drivers took part in the testing sessions: Robin Frijns, Maxime Martin, René Rast, Marco Wittmann and Nick Yelloly. BMW and Team WRT have yet to announce the crews destined for the 2024 FIA WEC.
Thanks to feedback from BMW M Team RLL in the IMSA and the expertise of Team WRT in the FIA WEC, the German manufacturer is expecting excellent results in its first season and at the 92nd running of Le Mans. The last big win for a BMW prototype dates back to 1999 when the V12 LMR triumphed at the 24 Hours against Toyota, Mercedes, Audi, Nissan and Panoz (the car won the 12 Hours of Sebring the same year).
The 24 Hours of Le Mans will begin a new chapter in its storied history on 12-16 June 2024.