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BMW to unveil LMDh hybrid endurance racer on Monday Car News

BMW will make a return to top-level sports car racing in the new LMDh prototype class in 2023, with a hybrid hypercar it will unveil on Monday June 6.

The Munich-based firm took victory at Le Mans with the V12 LMR prototype in 1999 and is considering a comeback. The move was confirmed last year by BMW M boss Markus Flasch with an Instagram post showing an image of the car captioned: “We’re back, Daytona 2023”.

Flasch later added, in an official confirmation: “By entering the LMDh class, BMW M Motorsport fulfills the prerequisites to fight for overall victory in the world’s most iconic endurance races from 2023. We will fully focus on solving this challenge.

“There is a spirit of optimism here. BMW has a successful history in prototype racing – winning Le Mans in 1999 was unforgettable. Bringing that history to life in a modern prototype with M Power will delight BMW fans. M Motorsport.”

The firm has released a new preview image of the racer (below), but it doesn’t give away much beyond the expected huge wing at the rear and thin, diagonal LED headlights. An earlier design sketch revealed that the car would sport huge kidney grilles up front, giving a nod to BMW’s road cars.

The move will allow BMW to participate in the prestigious IMSA series in North America – one of the world’s largest markets for its M performance brand.

The new LMDh class is loosely based on the LMP2 machines. Under these rules, manufacturers must choose one of four order chassis and use a specific rear-axle hybrid system, although they can adapt their own body-style cues and rear-wheel-drive powertrain. Power is capped at 670 hp.

Porsche, Audi and Acura have all confirmed they will enter the LMDh class, which will be eligible for both the IMSA US Championship which includes the 24 Hours of Daytona and the World Endurance Championship. The latter championship includes Le Mans and also includes cars from the Le Mans Hypercar category, including Toyota, Peugeot and Ferrari.

BMW did not specify if it would organize double programs in IMSA and WEC, or if it would offer its cars to privateers.

BMW has considered future motorsport plans after confirming it will withdraw from the Formula E championship at the end of this season.

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Source: www.autocar.co.uk
This notice was published: 2022-05-31 17:02:43

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