BMW Motorsport has confirmed, that they will enter a new LMDh car in 2023.
The German brand, however, has only confirmed their participation in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship so far.
The North American market has a very special motorsport interest, since they have participated in the American Le Mans Series and IMSA, without competing in the European version, such as the European Le Mans Series or FIA World Endurance Championship.
The exception was 2010-11 and 2018-19, where Rahal Letterman Lanigan was first to take the trip with their E92 M3 GT2 model, and then Team MTEK with the M8 GTE car.
The press release only mentions the IMSA championship, but states that they now will be able to participate in the most iconic endurance races with an LMDh car – without mentioning Le Mans.
They do however mention their 1999 Le Mans win with the V12 LMR model, where Tom Kristensen, JJ Lehto, and Jörg Müller were very close at winning, until an anti-roll bar broke a few hours, resulting in a monster crash. Instead, it was their sister car with Joachim Winkelhock, Pierluigi Martini, and Yannick Dalmas who won the race.
BMW confirms a two-car effort in IMSA from 2023 onwards, but nothing about the drivers, nor the team. They have had Rahal Letterman Lanigan as partners for many years, but the deal only runs 12 months at a time, but keeps getting extended over and over. The RLL team doesn’t have any prototype racing experience, since they only run their IndyCar team, in addition to the IMSA team.
The whole announcement was quite stumbled, since one of the BMW bosses leaked the press picture on his Instagram profile yesterday – WITHOUT BMW having announced anything themselves. The official press release did however show up today.
BMW will join Audi, Porsche, and Acura, who has already committed to an LMDh programme, while General Motors is expected to announce something in the very near future.