25 years after the V12 LMR triumphed at Le Mans, BMW will return to Circuit de la Sarthe later this year with the M Hybrid V8. The motorsport side of the M division is going to field two cars in 2024, but a third endurance racer might be added for next year’s 24-hour battle. However, a final decision won’t be taken until after the current season comes to an end.

In an interview with Sportscar365, BMW M Motorsport director Andreas Roos said the team is currently focused on the two cars fielded by BMW M Team WRT in the Hypercar class. The 2024 WEC efforts kicked off with the race at the Lusail International Circuit near Doha in Qatar where the #20 race car driven by Sheldon van der Linde, René Rast, and Robin Frijns finished in 12th place. As for the #15 car piloted by Dries Vanthoor, Raffaele Marciello, and Marco Wittmann, it completed the grueling endurance race in 16th place.

Several factors must be taken into consideration first before deciding on whether a third car is worth the effort, most of which are related to costs. BMW’s last factory effort at Le Mans in 1999 included only two cars, and it was a similar story in the preceding year. It wouldn’t be that uncommon to have a third car on the starting grid considering Porsche Penske Motorsport did run a trio of 963s in 2023 and will do the same this year.

Andreas Roos recognized the upside of having a third car on the grid but also pointed out the disadvantages that come with entering an extra car. With Le Mans being one of the most difficult races in the world, accidents and technical problems are always bound to happen. Since the start of the 2024 WEC hasn’t exactly been encouraging, there are bigger fish to fry – making the existing cars more competitive.

After the inaugural race in Qatar, WEC is heading to the 6 Hours of Imola set for April 21 before the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on May 11. The highlight of the season will be the 24 Hours of Le Mans scheduled for June 15-16.

Source: Sportscar365