BMW has shed further light on its recently-announced LMDh program, with the German manufacturer declaring plans to field a two-car factory operation in the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.
Having been on the cards for several weeks, BMW’s return top-level prototype racing was confirmed in a social media post by BMW M CEO Markus Flasch on Thursday.
The company has since followed up on that teaser with confirmation of a two-car works program in North America, with the operating team and drivers to be announced.
“BMW is back on the big motorsport stage,” commented Flasch.
“In entering the LMDh class, BMW M Motorsport is fulfilling the prerequisites to challenge for overall victory at the most iconic endurance races in the world from 2023.
“We will be fully focused on tackling this challenge. There is a spirit of optimism here.
“BMW has a successful history in prototype racing – the Le Mans victory in 1999 was unforgettable. Reviving this story in a modern prototype with M Power will thrill fans of BMW M Motorsport.
“The LMDh concept guarantees maximum cost control and offers a wide range of possible applications, including the IMSA series in North America, an extremely important market for BMW M.
“We are all eager to get stuck into the LMDh category with a compact and highly efficient team setup.”
BMW has not said whether its LMDh prototype will also appear in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, despite Flasch’s statement that the car is set to compete in the world’s “most iconic” long-distance races.
It has also not yet named the LMP2 constructor that will supply a base chassis, along with other technical details of the car which is set to be powered by a BMW engine coupled to LMDh’s common 50 kW Bosch electric motor.
The LMDh program guarantees a continuation of BMW’s involvement in factory motorsport beyond its exit from Formula E after the current world championship season.
“Everyone in our motorsport team shares the same motivation: we want to test ourselves against our strongest opposition at the racetrack – and to celebrate victories for BMW,” said Mike Krack, head of BMW M Motorsport.
“As such, the LMDh project is a real affair of the heart for us and exactly the new challenge we were hoping for.
“An extremely exciting project awaits us. To challenge for overall victories in Daytona and Sebring is a massive motivation. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but the anticipation is immense.”