BMW has confirmed it will enter the World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 2024, with the target of a return to glory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
One year after its debut season in the North American IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2023, BMW M Motorsport will deploy its BMW M Hybrid V8 in the Hypercar class of the WEC.
BMW had already announced its intention to enter the LMDh class in 2023 last year, but it had not been decided which series it would be competing in.
“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, chief executive of BMW M.
“I sampled and marvelled at the extraordinary flair of the 24 Hours of Le Mans during my first term as chief executive 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 towards 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.”
“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,” explained Andreas Roos, head of BMW M Motorsport.
“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 towards this, at the same time as our programme in North America. We took the next important step on Monday. The car successfully completed its roll-out at Dallara in Varano de Melegari. We now start the intensive test work before the race debut in January 2023 at Daytona.”
This news follows BMW's decision to leave electric single seater championship Formula E at the end of the 2020/21 season.