BMW is investigating an expansion of its LMDh program for 2024 that could see the German manufacturer take on the FIA World Endurance Championship as well as the potential of customer cars.
Already confirmed for a debut in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GTP class with Team RLL next year, BMW M Motorsport boss Andreas Roos has acknowledged ongoing evaluations to have additional BMW M LMDh cars on the grid for the car’s second year.
“This is something we’re looking at for the moment,” Roos told Sportscar365. “We committed to the 2023 IMSA season with the two Rahal cars. But in parallel we’re looking at the moment also how future programs for 2024 could look like.
“It’s [a question] of having customer cars, having customer cars in IMSA, it’s maybe running cars in WEC. At the moment we’re investigating it and will check what is possible for us and what makes sense.
“At the end you have to watch the overall package and what does it bring for the company.
“All of these things we are investigating at the moment. We’re happy to see what we can do. I can’t say at the moment we’ll go but we definitely feel good.”
Roos said a number of considerations are under discussion but admitted they still have a “long way to go” before making any final decisions.
“It’s our goal not only to have two cars but to be more present with the car,” he said.
“It was from the beginning… The [LMDh] platform [allows] you to do customer racing also.
“At the end we have some interest with people asking. We have to find a way to do it. This is what we are investigating and hopefully we manage. But I can’t confirm it right now so it’s still a long way to go.”
A WEC effort would mark BMW’s top-class return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 2000, one year after its overall triumph in the French endurance classic.
“In general IMSA or the North American market is for BMW and especially for the M GmbH it’s very important because nearly half of the M models are sold in the North American market,” he said.
“This is why for sure we’re focusing on IMSA.
“When you develop a car like the LMDh car which can run in IMSA and also the world championship, including Le Mans, then for sure you think about it.
“We all know how unique Le Mans is. Everybody wants to win Le Mans at one stage so this is why we are also having a look at it.
“A win at Le Mans is always something special. We won it already but we want to win it again.”
BMW M LMDh Still On Track for Summer Rollout
While working to a “very tight” timeline, Roos said they have not faced any delays in the development of the BMW M LMDh, which is still on schedule for an initial rollout in the summer.
It would be followed by an extensive testing program, initially in Europe before shifting focus to the U.S. ahead of the car’s debut in next year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.
“The decision was taken quite late for BMW to do the project,” Roos explained. “For sure we have a very tight time schedule.
“At the moment we’re on schedule; everything runs according to plan but it’s still a lot of work to do.
“Our goal is to have the car, [which] will be built, together with Dallara, and then we want to hit the track in the middle of the year.
“We will start with testing in Europe and as we will focus on 2023 in IMSA, for sure we’ll do a lot of testing over here.
“The U.S. tracks are definitely different than the European tracks so that’s why we’ll focus on doing a lot of testing here together with RLL.
“It will be intense but I think everyone is looking forward to seeing the car rolling for the first time.”
Roos said they’ve “managed well” in dealing with supply-chain issues that has affected nearly every manufacturer and supplier in the industry in recent months.