UNITED STATES: Munich-based car manufacturer, BMW, aims to enter the US IMSA series in 2023 with hopes of fighting for overall victories in the premier class of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2024. Their challenger for endurance racing, christened “M Hybrid V8”, had already been presented in June.
The engine that powers the BMW is said to be an evolution of the V8 PHEV used for the new BMW XM and BMW M5.
The group’s motorsport bosses unveiled the finished look of the LMDh prototype in Los Angeles on Thursday at the festive launch event at the Petersen Museum.
The prototype bears the iconic BMW white, red, and blue colours. The renowned M logo sits beautifully on the bonnet, slightly to the right and left. In a bid to reduce overall weight, the black-coloured surfaces will be stripped to reveal the shiny unpainted carbon fibre.
As the team prepares for a return to Le Mans in 2024, exactly 25 years after the legendary V12 LMR won, the US IMSA series will serve as a dress rehearsal for the BMW lineup.
BMW announced Connor De Phillippi, Phillip Eng, Augusti Farfus, and Nick Yelloly as the drivers who will drive the two BMW M Hybrid V8 cars with numbers 24 and 25. De Phillippi and Yelloly will be the first driver pairing, with Eng and Farfus being the second. They will be supported at the four IMSA endurance races at Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen, and Road Atlanta.
IndyCar driver Colton Herta will be at the Daytona 24 Hours race. He’d previously celebrated a victory at Daytona with BMW M Team RLL back in 2019. The other support drivers will be Marco Wittmann and Sheldon van der Linde.
The BMW M Hybrid V8 features the typical kidney grille but is flatter in comparison to production vehicles. Under the hood of the BMW is a 4-litre V8 engine with twin turbochargers.
The chassis used by the LMDh class was developed and assembled by Dallara exclusively for BMW. The Italian firm put together its own engineering team for the LMDh project.
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