BREAKING: BMW Goes LMDh, Confirms Entry Into 2023 Rolex 24 At Daytona
CEO Markus Flasch shows off a poster that confirms BMW's entry in the spec-chassis side of the new prototype classes for WEC and IMSA
The last time BMW fielded a sports prototype, they won in 1999 with the V12 LMR. And they never did prototypes again. Come 2023, however, that's going to change.
Thanks, u/Maxi461 of r/wec for saving this!
BMW Motorsport CEO Markus Flasch has inadvertently posted a vertical poster on his Instagram that announces the return of the Bavarian marque to the sport. Racer.com and BMWBlog both corroborate this development. But as of this writing, BMW M hasn't released a press blurb confirming it.
As this is a developing story, I shall update this post with more information over time. I can, however, give you some context on the other abbreviation I laid out on the headline.
In the future that the Automobile Club d l'Ouest (ACO) envisions for endurance sports prototypes, there are two roads to glory: create a bespoke hypercar from the ground up and kinda-sorta bring it to the street (LM-Hypercar or LM-H), or take an LMP2 chassis, a standard electric boost system, and dolly it up as best as can be (LMDh).
Current WEC champions Toyota, along with underdogs Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus, currently represent the Hypercar class. Peugeot and Ferrari both have confirmed to participate in 2022 and 2023, respectively. This should make for quite a healthy grid shortly.
Meanwhile, LMDh sees a mostly-German affair, with Audi and Porsche first to put in their entries to this class (Acura is also in, but so far, is limited to IMSA entries). With BMW now in the picture, the P1 grid now has six major marques and one factory team. As development costs are supposed to be lower with LMDh, it makes sense for the Germans (who faced a myriad of crises in the mid-2010s) to go for the cheaper, more plug-and-play choice.