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BMW Revives Top-Class Sports Car Racing in 2023

The winner of the 1999 Le Mans 24-hour race with the V12 LMR prototype decided to join the new category after confirming last week that it was one of the options under consideration when planning the future after Formula E. I made it clear. Currently, Porsche, Audi and Honda Acura brands are determined to attend classes that already have a strong commitment.

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Confirmation that the German manufacturer will be part of a category that spans the World Endurance Championship and the IMSA SportsCar Championship was made through the Instagram account of Markus Flasch, the boss of the BMW M brand that incorporates BMW Motorsport. ..

Posted by Flasch on the Williams V12 LMR image “We are back! Daytona 2023”.

The 2023 24 Hours of Daytona is virtually the first race in which LMP2-based LMDh machines can participate in the race.

Daytona’s traditional opening round of the series, the IMSA SportsCar Championship, will replace the 2023 Daytona Prototype International Class with LMDh. By that day, which coincides with the introduction of the next-generation LMP2 machine on which it is based, the WEC has left the door open for the LMDh prototype to participate in the Le Mans Hypercar’s top division.

The mundane announcement does not provide insight into whether BMW is planning a dual program across IMSA and WEC. However, Flasch showed last week that being able to race LMDh prototypes in both arenas is a big attraction in this category.

Asked if that ability made LMDh an attractive prospect, he replied: It is absolutely part of our analysis. “

BMW’s last prototype program spanned the Atlantic Ocean. The Schnitzer team ran the V12 LMR at Le Mans in 1999 and also raced in the first year of the American Le Mans Series. The program included a 12-hour debut at the opening of the season in March.

Schnitzer returned to the North American series with the V12 LMR in 2000, but did not defend the Le Mans crown after BMW returned to F1 at Williams.

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Flush revealed that after ending his involvement in FE at the end of the 2020/21 season, he sees the future of BMW’s factory more than a customer-oriented program. BMW licenses to build a P2 prototype You must choose one of the four constructors you have (ORECA, Multimatic, Ligier, Dallara).

You can style your car to your own requirements, use your own internal combustion engine, and combine it with a rear axle hybrid system with specifications provided by Williams Advanced Engineering.

When BMW looks for an established US team to run the IMSA side of the program, the obvious candidates are Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Andretti Autosport. The team, owned by Bobby Rahal, David Letterman and Mike Lanigan, has been campaigning for Works BMW in the upcoming GT Le Mans class since 2009.

Meanwhile, Michael Andretti’s company is a BMW partner in Formula E, has also run top-ranked sports prototypes thanks to a previous partnership with Acura, and now has an LMP3 team at IMSA.



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