BMW has given us a sneak peek of what its LMDh top-flight endurance racer will look like, along with additional details on partnerships for its endurance racing efforts going forward.
Because this is 2021 and this is a BMW we’re talking about, the dominant visual feature is the grille. Those are some monster kidneys that, at least in the case of the LMDh car, likely serve a function. You certainly won’t mistake it for anything else, if the finished item winds up with this face.
“Uniting the iconic elements of BMW M Motorsport design DNA with the performant architecture of an ultra-modern prototype is what this project is all about,” said Michael Scully, BMW Group Designworks Global Automotive Director.
“The shape of the BMW M LMDh exemplifies the visceral efficiency which is so synonymous with BMW M Motorsport, yet the design process has been highly collaborative between BMW M Motorsport, Dallara, and BMW Group Designworks. I’m confident this car will be something we can all be proud of, and that the on-track results will reflect the development team’s great dynamic. For me personally, this project represents the synthesis of my professional design experience and life-long immersion in prototype racing at lower echelons as a driver. It’s indeed a dream realised.”
BMW Team RLL, its current partner in endurance racing in America, will continue into 2022 and 2023. It’ll be handling both the marque’s GTD Pro BMW M4 GT3 entries in 2022 and indeed, in 2023, its LMDh cars. This is all likely unsurprising, given the team’s 12-year history with BMW racing in the USA. In recent times, BMW Team RLL has 2019 and 2020 back-to-back Daytona wins in the driver, team and manufacturer standings to its credit, as well as notable successes with the M3 GT in 2010 and 2011.
“BMW Team RLL is the ideal partner for our LMDh project,” said Mike Krack, Head of BMW M Motorsport.
“We’ve been working very successfully with Bobby Rahal and his crew since 2009. During this time, we have all come to know the IMSA series very well and have celebrated major success together. From our perspective, racing in the top class and challenging for overall victories from 2023 is the logical next step. When you compete with a new race car, it is a great advantage to already know what awaits you in the race series, at the circuits, and in terms of organisation. This is 100 per cent the case in the constellation we have opted for.”
What’s still not yet clear is whether a BMW-badged LMDh car will be contesting for honours at Le Mans or indeed, the wider World Endurance Championship in general. Thus far, BMW has only talked about the IMSA series. We can only cross our fingers...