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2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10 BIMMERPOST Universal Forums Professional Motorsport Racing Discussion (IMSA, DTM, Formula 1, Grand-AM, Le Mans, IRL, WRC, etc..) BMW quitting WEC after Le Mans 2019
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      05-22-2019, 08:47 AM   #1
mKilgore
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BMW quitting WEC after Le Mans 2019

BMW has announced they are quitting WEC after Le Mans 2019. They are last in the championship and the only marque to not have won a race. I hope this means they have realized BMW is far from the avenues that made it successful with previous cars and will hopefully get back to actually racing instead of just marketing. The M8 has underperformed and I will give them credit for pulling the plug at a fairly early stage instead of continuing to limp around at the back of the pack. The previous M6 was somewhat competitive, had a few race wins, but was still not a championship winning car. The Z4 before that was similar. It had circuits that it was better suited for, but was not an all around race-winning car. The e92 M3 was the last great sports car that BMW produced winning the ALMS championship in 2011 and racking up multiple race wins. Instead of producing a new model to market on the race track every few years, maybe they should actually try sticking to a single model and evolving/developing the model for racing.

https://www.motorsport.com/wec/news/...-exit/4393462/
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      05-22-2019, 08:52 AM   #2
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BMW Officially Ends WEC Program; M8 GTLM to Continue in IMSA

Better pay for the LeMans live stream this year, because it might be the last time you see BMW race there for a while. Thankfully they're sticking with their North American program in IMSA. If you read between the lines, it's pretty clear that Marquardt prefers the way IMSA has run their program.

I'm kind of torn on the situation. One one hand I'll be sad to see BMW absent from LeMans (yet again), but on the other hand I understand where WEC is coming from. There is grumbling in IMSA GTLM about certain cars (*cough* Ford GT *cough*) being heavily BoP'd, because the M8 GTE is unable to increase their pace. It's not entirely fair to the field that the envelope is being pinned back by certain competitors. I mean, look at how close GT3 has come to GTE.

In BoP'd series, there's always going to be a back-of-the-class. What sucks is that BMW was already there with the M6 GTLM, and when they introduced the M8 GTE, things didn't get much better. Part of me wants to see BMW step it up and field a GTE car based on the i8. Everyone is quick to point out that the i8 is a hybrid, that it'd be expensive, and a litany of other reasons. But Porsche managed to figure it out a car with the engine in the wrong place and Acura races the NSX sans-hybrid. Why can't BMW find a way to field a competitive mid-engine race car that can more than meet the minimum requirements? I know they can; it's frustrating that they won't.

https://sportscar365.com/lemans/wec/...er-one-season/

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BMW has confirmed rumors that it will leave the FIA World Endurance Championship, announcing on Wednesday that next month’s 24 Hours of Le Mans will be the end of its GTE program in the series.

It comes as part of a commitment for BMW M Motorsport and BMW i Motorsport to have “a sharper focus” moving forward.

BMW made its WEC debut at the start of the 2018-19 ‘Super Season’, and has run a pair of M8 GTEs throughout, albeit with less success than in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

The Munich-based brand heads to Le Mans at the bottom of the GTE manufacturers’ championship, and its best results after seven races in the GTE-Pro class have been a pair of second-place finishes.

“We will not compete in WEC going forward,” said BMW Motorsport director Jens Marquardt.

“Therefore, the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June will be another highlight for us in drawing to a close – just like in 2018, when we celebrated the successful world premiere of the BMW 8 Series Coupe there.

“But in light of us sharpening our focus as part of our strategy for the future, continuing our WEC involvement in the coming years does not fit with our direction.

“We would like to thank BMW Team MTEK for its dedication over recent years and we wish WEC all the best and hope that it makes good progress.”

It marks the second GTE-Pro manufacturer to not return to the WEC, following the conclusion of Ford’s four-year factory run.

BMW’s commitment for a second season in WEC has been uncertain for a while, with paddock rumors suggesting an exit could be on the cards for the past few months.

MTEK team principal Ernest Knoors told Sportscar365 at the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps that the program’s future was “in the hands of BMW.”

BMW will continue to run its M8 GTE in the WeatherTech Championship, where BMW Team RLL has had more success, including a class win at the Rolex 24 at Daytona earlier this year.

“The global presence of BMW M Motorsport is safeguarded by customer racing and the DTM in Asia and Europe, as well as the IMSA series in North America, even without competing in a world championship,” explained Marquardt.

“The IMSA series plays a central role for us in North America and is developing well.

“The USA is the most important market for BMW M cars, so it is very fitting to build a direct bridge to our production models there with the BMW M8 GTE.”

Knoors says MTEK will look at other opportunities after Le Mans, and isn’t ruling out a return to WEC in another capacity.

“Of course, we have to respect the decision by BMW and we are grateful for the opportunities we have been given in the past years,” he said.

“At the same time, I have to say that we would have liked to continue as a team. We feel at home in the WEC pitlane and have acquired a lot of experience that we would like to put to good use.

“We will actively look for options for other projects. My ambition for this team is to be involved in competition at the highest level in motorsport.

“The WEC would be the most logical option as that is where we have the most recent experience, but of course, we also still know our way in the DTM and are also seriously looking at other opportunities.”

DTM, GT Commitment Remains Strong

BMW has reaffirmed its commitment to DTM and its customer GT racing programs, which will soon be supported by a new GT3 car.

“With the introduction of the new Class 1 regulation, the new turbo engine, a new manufacturer and important steps towards internationalisation, the DTM has embarked on a promising journey,” added Marquardt.

“Now it is important to keep going. We believe in the series and will fully support the DTM in further expanding its international presence.

“The BMW M4 GT4 has proved to be a real winner since its debut in the 2018 season and the BMW M6 GT3 continues to celebrate regular victories all over the world.

“A successor for our successful GT3 model is already in the works.

“This means that works-supported starts in iconic international GT races such as at the Nordschleife, at Spa-Francorchamps or in Macau will still be possible.”

Marquardt revealed to Sportscar365 in February that the manufacturer is planning to launch the successor to the Spa 24 Hours-winning BMW M6 GT3 in 2022.
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      05-22-2019, 01:50 PM   #3
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“A successor for our successful GT3 model is already in the works.
A new Z4-based race car perhaps? Or maybe G82 M4?
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      05-22-2019, 07:57 PM   #4
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they cant stick with a single model car, model lines are changing quite fast in recent years.. there is no point to make ad basically for an older car..
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      05-22-2019, 10:15 PM   #5
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I'm pretty disappointed. The M6/M8 are big cars sure and that comes with drag that hurts top speed but it also comes with a natural driving style, easy to drive at the limit, and well less likely to be involved in an incident.

Personally I hope BMW is less worried about the M6/M8 and more annoyed with WEC. The races are empty and obviously WEC BoP isn't doing BMW any favors. I really only watch at this point for BMW M8. P1 is dead and GT AM is a bit lacking.

But in my mind the M6/M8 V8s are excellent race engines on an excellent platform. They won't win easily on mulsanne straight but when the weather gets crazy thé Big chassis is the one to be in and they really are super easy to drive compare to a 911 or Lambo or the old Z4.

Daytona 24 hour win is a big deal and I really would like to see M8 live a full life in GTE/GTLM. Hopefully this decision is reconsidered after the next year season is over and WEC has proper top class racing again. BMW should be at Le Mans.

I do wonder if the M8 will get a GT3 treatment or if they will opt for M4?

M240i race
M4 DTM
M6 GT3
M8 GTE.

M6 is oop and M4 soon will be replaced. M240i is essentially brand new. Z4 was apparently denied the wavers by IMSA/wec competitors to be the next GT car so I doubt we see it.
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      05-23-2019, 10:50 AM   #6
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The new M4 GT4 is doing well here in the US. I'm not sure if it is being run anywhere else. The M6 GT3 seems to struggle in the Blancpain Series that I've seen. I'd like to see a return to the M4 in GT3 trim and then hopefully BMW can get the M8 to work in the GTE trim.
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      05-24-2019, 11:35 AM   #7
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I have to backpedal a bit on what I said earlier. I'm not sure going mid-engine is the right path for BMW. Historically, they only did that once (M1 Procar), and as much as I'm grateful for it, it ended up being a sideshow.

I think we're reaching a breaking point in motorsports on multiple fronts. If we look back at motorsports history, we see that racing adapts to the broader environment. There's a cycle of progress, punctuated by implosions as series collapse under their own weight (cost). What is salvaged from the rubble is usually a less potent version of what came before. Then the cycle starts over again.

What tension/breakage do we see today? LMP1, for sure. The cost of hybridization in sportscars has proven to be too much. It works for F1 because... well, it's F1. I'm not convinced there's room for hybridization down-market from F1 just yet, and I'm also not convinced that's a bad thing. IMSA, PWC, and Blancpain racing is fantastic, and there are no hybrids.

Then we have GT-cars. There's building tension as the grid has filled up with mid-engine sportscars whose performance is in an entirely different orbit than an actual grand touring car. I mean, can a 488 GTB really be considered a grand tourer? If you ask me, the M8 is far more of a GT than the 488 GTB. The Aston Martin Vantage, BMW M8/M6, Mercedes AMG GT, and Bentley Continental are examples of honest-to-goodness grand tourers. I feel a class split coming, as I'm not sure sanctioning bodies are going to be able to reconcile these differences forever.

The elephant in the room is what effect this will have on the sport as a whole. Adding a new top class for mid-engine supercars (e.g., WEC's maybe-still-born Hypercar) will have repercussions. Everyone wants to race in the top-class, but only a few have the budget. Will BMW even bother to show up if they're not in the top GT class? And what do we do about GT3 and GT4 where mid-engine cars are making inroads as well? There's less grumbling about the cars in these classes being pinned back, but how long will that last? How many manufacturers will show up for the new top class? Hypercar response sure doesn't seem to bode well.

I'd really love to be a fly on the wall at FIA or IMSA right about now. There's soooooo much secrecy in motorsport, I feel like we're not going to have answers until after the fact.
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