BMW confirms return to Le Mans in 2024

German brand is heading back to the legendary 24-hour race with its M Hybrid V8 after being absent for a quarter of a century

BMW confirms return to Le Mans in 2024

BMW is returning to the iconic Le Mans race circuit in 2024 after a 25-year absence.

The German brand hasn’t competed in the legendary and gruelling 24 Hours of Le Mans since 1999, when it took overall victory with its BMW V12 LMR, but it’s going to return to it, along with the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), in 2024.

BMW’s new race car is known as the M Hybrid V8 and signals the brand using electrification in motorsport, with the manufacturer’s ‘M’ boss saying it will ‘show how exciting electrified BMW M cars will be in the future’.

(BMW)

Before the WEC and Le Mans, though, the M Hybrid V8 will be running in the North American IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2023.

The German firm is now extensively testing its new racing car, which is spending time on the Dallara test track this week. More European tests are also scheduled for August, before preparations move to the USA in September. BMW hasn’t yet decided who will be taking the wheel in both the 2023 and 2024 race series, though.

Franciscus van Meel, CEO of BMW’s M division, said: “The decision to run the BMW M Hybrid V8 in the IMSA series from 2023 and the WEC from 2024 is a milestone for the project.’

He added: “I sampled and marvelled at the extraordinary flair of the 24 Hours of Le Mans during my first term as CEO of BMW M, so I am very excited to be challenging for overall victory as BMW M Motorsport again at this classic and in the whole World Endurance Championship for the first time for decades.

“The BMW M Hybrid V8 represents a turning point towards electrification for BMW M. The IMSA series in North America and the WEC, which takes place all over the world, are the perfect platforms on which to use our prototype to show how exciting electrified BMW M cars will be in the future.”

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