BMW M Motorsport is getting ready to launch its inaugural season in the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC). In advance, the official entry list has been unveiled with the BMW M Team WRT running in both the Hypercar and LMGT3 categories. The Belgian outfit will compete with two BMW M Hybrid V8s and an additional duo of BMW M4 GT3 cars. The preliminary driver roster has been announced as well, featuring the accomplished duo of Dries Vanthoor from Belgium and South Africa’s own Sheldon van der Linde, who will race at the helm of the two LMDh cars. Meanwhile, the dynamic pairing of Augusto Farfus from Brazil and the legendary Valentino Rossi from Italy is set to make waves in the cockpits of the BMW M4 GT3 cars, with Rossi infusing his unique flair by sporting his iconic number 46.
Rossi, a nine-time motorcycle world champion, embarks on a new chapter as he confronts the challenges presented by the BMW M4 GT3. His foray into the world of endurance racing was previewed in the preceding season when he made a stellar debut on the hallowed grounds of the Le Mans circuit during the “Road to Le Mans” races, clinching victory in one of the two fiercely contested events.
The distinctive livery of the BMW M Team WRT’s vehicles adds another layer of excitement, with the BMW M Hybrid V8 cars proudly adorned with the numbers 15 and 20, while the second BMW M4 GT3 will run with number 31. The full driver lineup has yet to be announced, but two more spots are left on the grid. For the LMGT3 category, the regulations dictate the inclusion of amateur drivers. The most exciting race of the season will undoubtedly be the 24 Hours of Le Mans where BMW will race their latest Art Car Project based on the BMW M Hybrid V8.
Andreas Roos (Head of BMW M Motorsport): “With the confirmation of our team for the Hypercar and LMGT3 classes, as well as the initial drivers, our comeback in the FIA WEC takes another important step. BMW M Team WRT is among the best teams globally in both the prototype and GT3 segments. For sporting and logistical reasons, Vincent Vosse’s team was the logical choice to field both the BMW M Hybrid V8 and the BMW M4 GT3. The BMW M works drivers we have nominated possess the necessary driving skill and experience. Sheldon van der Linde is already familiar with the BMW M Hybrid V8, and Dries Vanthoor made a strong impression during test drives. Additionally, he has previously competed at Le Mans in an LMP2 prototype. Valentino Rossi made a strong debut at Le Mans this season, winning immediately in the BMW M4 GT3. Overall, his first season as a BMW M works driver has been very impressive. I am convinced that he will play an important role and be a crowd favorite in the FIA WEC. Augusto Farfus, with his experience and driving skill, will be a crucial pillar for the LMGT3 program.”