BMW returns to Prototype Racing

BMW returns to Prototype Racing

BMW M Motorsport is returning to international prototype racing. The marque will enter the new LMDh category with a car that is being developed for use in the North American IMSA series. From the 2023 season, the car will allow BMW to compete for overall race wins at prestigious classics such as Daytona, Sebring and Road Atlanta. The logical assumption is that a 24-Hours of Le Mans campaign will follow.

We are back! Daytona 2023!

“BMW is back on the big motorsport stage,” said Markus Flasch, CEO of BMW M. “In entering the LMDh class, BMW is fulfilling the prerequisites to challenge for overall victory at the most iconic endurance races in the world from 2023. We will be fully focussed on tackling this challenge. There is a spirit of optimism here. BMW has a successful history in prototype racing – the Le Mans victory in 1999 was unforgettable. Reviving this story in a modern prototype with M Power will thrill fans of BMW M Motorsport. The LMDh concept guarantees maximum cost control and offers a wide range of possible applications, including the IMSA series in North America, an extremely important market for BMW M. We are all eager to get stuck into the LMDh category with a compact and highly-efficient team set-up.”

The man responsible for the development, testing and race outings of the new car, Mike Krack, Head of BMW M Motorsport, added: “Everyone in our motorsport team shares the same motivation: we want to test ourselves against our strongest opposition at the racetrack – and to celebrate victories for BMW.

As such, the LMDh project is a real affair of the heart for us and exactly the new challenge we were hoping for. An extremely exciting project awaits us. To challenge for overall victories in Daytona and Sebring is a massive motivation. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but the anticipation is immense.”

The regulations for LMDh cars stipulate that they have both a combustion engine and an electric motor. While each manufacturer may develop its own combustion engine, the electric motor and battery, as well as the transmission, are standard parts. The chassis is also built by an external partner. A BMW works team is planned with two cars entering into the 2023 IMSA season. The works team and the driver line-up for the two prototypes will be announced at a later date. BMW's last big prototype race win came in 1999 when the V12 LMR won the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The car (below) also won at Sebring that season. 

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