BMW is the youngest automaker to confirm an entry for the new LMDh (Le Mans Daytona Hybrid) class, which will serve as the top category for both the World Endurance Championship and the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023.
This means that we may see BMW at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the most important event on the WEC calendar, for the first time since 1999 when BMW secured its spot with its V12 LMR sports prototype (in the main picture), potentially at the highest level could see first and only overall victory in the French classic.
The news of BMW’s LMDh entry was first published on Thursday on the BMW blog. BMW M boss Markus Flasch later confirmed this via Instagram post.
A BMW spokesman told the Motor Authority that the plans are still in the final stages and more details will be announced at a later date.
LMDh was announced by IMSA (International Motor Sports Association) and ACO (Automobile Club de l’Ouest), who are hosting the Le Mans 24 Hours in early 2020, and in the WEC the class will be alongside the LMH (Le Mans Hypercar) class , which saw its first race on May 1st. Until 2023, Alpine, Ferrari, Peugeot, Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus and Toyota will compete at LMH. LMDh has now attracted Acura, Audi, Porsche and now also BMW.
LMDh was designed with cost savings in mind, so teams must use a special chassis similar to a current LMP2 chassis sourced from one of four suppliers (Dallara, Ligier, Multimatic and Oreca) and a hybrid powertrain of their own choice. The cars will weigh around 2,200 pounds and generate around 680 horsepower. Current account rules are used to keep LMDh and LMH vehicles competitive.
The first race in the LMDh class is the 24 Hours of Daytona 2023, the inaugural race of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship 2023.