BMW M Motorsport has confirmed that its LMDh car will be based around Dallara’s chassis, following a contract signed on Wednesday in Italy at Dallara’s headquarters in Varano de Melegari.
The German manufacturer, which confirmed its participation with a two-car factory IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship program in June, has been widely believed to be joining forces with Dallara for the program.
“In Dallara, we are delighted to have found a partner for our LMDh project that shares our passion, professionalism and huge ambition in motorsport and, like us, is fully committed to the goal of writing a new success story in the history of BMW M Motorsport from 2023,” said Markus Flasch, CEO of BMW M.
Flasch was joined by Head of BMW M Motorsport Mike Krack and Maurizio Leschiutta, the new head of BMW’s LMDh project, on its trip to Dallara.
“After speaking to all the possible chassis partners, the decisive factor in our decision was that Dallara, with all its expertise and experience, was enthusiastic about working together with BMW M Motorsport,” Flasch added.
“The chemistry was there between us from the word go. We see our relationship as a real partnership in which we are fighting for a common goal of success at the racetrack.”
The first test car will be built in Italy in a close collaboration between BMW M Motorsport engineers and a team of Dallara engineers assembled specifically for the BMW LMDh project.
The rollout will take place next year at the Varano circuit.
Leschiutta, meanwhile, has been confirmed as BMW’s LMDh project leader after previously serving as the manufacturer’s former DTM program manager.
“Dallara is perhaps the most successful race car manufacturer in the world and has already played a key role in virtually every relevant circuit racing series,” said Leschiutta.
“As well as the desire to work with us, several other criteria were of great importance when making our decision. Dallara is a company that covers the full range of requirements.
“Its expertise extends to the fields of chassis manufacturing, engineering, development, wind tunnel tests, and simulations.
“They are very strong when it comes to aerodynamics, which will be a key factor in the IMSA series. In order to ensure that our cars are ideally prepared from the outset and to lay the foundations for success at the racetrack, we are already working closely with Dallara at a very early stage of development.”
Dallara will also serve as partners with Cadillac for its upcoming LMDh car that was officially confirmed last month.
“I’m honored to have been selected by BMW M Motorsport and with great enthusiasm I’m looking forward to begin this new adventure,” said Dallara President Giampaolo Dallara.
“Back in 1977 I had the opportunity to work alongside BMW on designing the M1 as Lamborghini consulting. It was a great experience and a lot was learned. I hope to repeat the same adventure in LMDh. I firmly believe that we will do great things together.”
Andrea Pontremoli, Dallara CEO and general manager added: “Our partnership with BMW M Motorsport is the result of almost 50 years of work in the motorsport industry, engineering and race car development.
“It is a privilege to have been selected by BMW for their next and new challenge in the hybrid prototype racing world.
“The LMDh concept and the convergence between IMSA, ACO and FIA has no precedence in history and that will see our total commitment. We are looking forward to compete in this new and exciting chapter of the global motorsport at its highest level.”