In 2024, BMW Motorsport is gearing up for a pivotal year. Not only will the motorsport brand make a highly anticipated comeback to the renowned Le Mans 24 Hours, but it will also unveil a captivating new addition to its collection of BMW Art Cars. The forthcoming art car draws inspiration from the BMW M Hybrid V8, set to compete in the upcoming Le Mans race. However, the driver lineup for Le Mans and for the FIA World Endurance Championship next year is still being deliberated, as stated by BMW motorsport boss Andreas Roos. In an interview with Sportscar365, Roos emphasized the significance of taking the necessary time to carefully select the ideal driver lineup for Team WRT’s factory Hypercar effort in the FIA World Endurance Championship next year.
Team WRT plans to run two M Hybrid V8 racing cars net year and testing so far was performed by Sheldon van der Linde, Dries Vanthoor, Jesse Krohn and Maxime Martin, along with BMW Junior Team graduates Max Hesse and Dan Harper. The BMW Factory Team also counts Rene Rast and Augusto Farfus, Philipp Eng, Connor De Phillippi and Nick Yelloly among their drivers. Of course, several date clashes between championships – WEC and IMSA – will affect the driver’s lineup in the future.
Roos also highlighted the additional factor of date clashes with several GT3 championships, including the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli. These clashes posed a challenge as BMW Motorsport is committed to supporting all-pro entries in these championships. Consequently, finding a driver lineup that takes into account these scheduling conflicts further adds complexity to the equation.
Roos clarified that their objective is to establish a consistent crew of six drivers for the WEC in collaboration with BMW M Team WRT, while also fielding a team of four drivers in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship alongside BMW M Team RLL. He acknowledged the possibility of date clashes between the two series in the upcoming year, emphasizing the need to carefully manage and navigate scheduling conflicts.
Undoubtedly, the 24 hours of Le Mans holds the utmost significance for every driver, representing the pinnacle of their aspirations in the world of motorsport. Therefore, whoever secures a spot in the driver seat next year will undoubtedly witness a remarkable milestone in their career. In preparation for next year’s racing activities, BMW Motorsport continues their run in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with the M Hybrid V8. Just this past weekend, the #25 BMW M Hybrid V8 Connor De Phillippi and Nick Yelloly were crowned as winners.