At the end of July, BMW M Motorsport announced its long-awaited return to Le Mans by entering the M Hybrid V8 into the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) for the 2024 season. It has now been decided that Belgian racing team WRT will run the company’s Le Mans Daytona hybrid (LMDh) program from 2024 onwards.
The announcement comes hours after WRT revealed it would part ways with Audi at the end of this season after a tie-up that lasted no fewer than 13 years. WRT has enjoyed success with the R8 GT3 since the racing team was created back in 2009, triumphing in some of the most prestigious endurance races, including Le Mans, Nürburgring, Spa-Francorchamps, and Bathurst.
WRT has expressed its commitment to continue in the GT3 class in 2023 with a different manufacturer. Andreas Roos, Head of BMW M Motorsport, says a decision regarding the race program involving the M4 GT3 for the next season will be made in the following months.
It is a certainty that Team WRT will race the BMW M Hybrid V8 at Le Mans and the rest of the WEC races. The electrified racing prototype recently had its dynamic debut at Varano de Melegari at the test track owned by chassis supplier Dallara. Fans won’t have to wait until 2024 to see it go racing as its motorsport debut is scheduled for January 2023 in Daytona as part of the IMSA program.
At the heart of the new flagship race car will be an interesting engine, dubbed P66/3. It traces its origins to the naturally aspirated 4.0-liter V8 that powered the old M4 DTM in the 2017 and 2018 seasons. For the new application, it has been heavily modified to support twin-turbocharging and accommodate the hybrid component. It revs at up to 8,200 rpm and puts out 640 horsepower and 478 pound-feet (650 Newton-meters) of torque.
With the 2024 Le Mans entry, BMW M Motorsport hopes to properly celebrate 25 years since the V12 LMR won on the famous Circuit de la Sarthe.
Source: BMW Motorsport