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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 M LMDh - News & Initial Sketches
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      11-13-2021, 08:22 AM   #1
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BMW M LMDh - News & Initial Sketches

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LMDh and IMSA GTD Pro: BMW Team RLL will continue to race for BMW M Motorsport in North America
In the run-up to MOTUL Petit Le Mans, the season finale of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Road Atlanta (USA), BMW M Motorsport is providing updates on the LMDh project for the 2023 season and its plans for the coming year. BMW Team RLL, who have been celebrating successes with BMW M Motorsport since 2009, will compete in the two LMDh prototypes as of 2023. Initial sketches give a foretaste of the car, which will be called BMW M LMDh. Alongside the LMDh test programme, BMW Team RLL will field two BMW M4 GT3s in the new GTD Pro category in the 2022 IMSA season.
“I’m delighted that our LMDh project has reached its next milestone with the announcement of BMW Team RLL as the team to race in the two prototypes,” said Franciscus van Meel, CEO of BMW M GmbH. “As with chassis partner Dallara, in team principal Bobby Rahal and his crew we have outstanding expertise and decades of experience at the highest level on our side. The LMDh project continues to gain momentum and I am confident that next year we will once again take all necessary steps as planned to be as well prepared as possible for entering our first IMSA season with the LMDh prototypes in 2023. We are taking on this new challenge together at full speed.”
Mike Krack, Head of BMW M Motorsport, added: “BMW Team RLL is the ideal partner for our LMDh project. BMW M Motorsport has 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 percent the case in the constellation we have opted for. That also goes for BMW of North America. Thank you very much for your fantastic support. Plus, BMW Team RLL is not only one of the best teams in North America on the GT scene, but also in Formula racing so we have all the right ingredients for success.”
BMW Team RLL has been contesting the GT category of the IMSA and its predecessor series in BMW racing cars since 2009. This partnership’s biggest successes have been the GTLM wins with the BMW M8 GTE at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2019 and 2020, the GTLM title wins in the driver, team and manufacturer standings of the 2020 Michelin Endurance Cup, and a total of five GT titles with the BMW M3 GT in the 2010 and 2011 seasons of the American Le Mans Series. Bobby Rahal’s team also enjoys success in the North American IndyCar Series. The team has won the legendary Indy 500 twice – most recently in 2020. Alongside the intensive testing with the BMW M LMDh, BMW Team RLL will contest the 2022 IMSA season starting with two BMW M4 GT3s in the newly established GTD Pro category in the first races.
“For me personally and professionally this is a dream come true”, said Rahal. “Now to first run a brand-new car like the BMW M4 GT3 and after that make the next step with BMW Team RLL to race for overall wins in the LMDh class is a direction we definitely wanted to go. I’m so pleased, so proud, so thankful that we’ll be able to do it together with BMW M Motorsport.”
The design sketches of the BMW M LMDh were produced in close collaboration between BMW M Motorsport and BMW Group Designworks. Michael Scully, BMW Group Designworks Global Automotive Director, said: “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. 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. Iterating the exterior surfaces with this team is particularly rewarding because each project partner has distinguished expertise in their discipline, yet there’s a mutual respect and drive to find a transcendent, cohesive result together. 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 a life-long immersion in prototype racing at lower echelons as a driver. It’s indeed a dream realized.”
https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/globa...-north-america

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      12-04-2021, 06:32 AM   #2
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The 24 Hours of Le Mans will have to celebrate its 100th birthday in 2023 without a BMW. Car manufacturer from Munich does without the LMDh debut.

- In 2023 the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans should shine in new splendor: Just in time for the 100th birthday of the endurance classic, an armada of car manufacturers is returning. Toyota, Glickenhaus and, after a twelve-year absence, Peugeot, too, are starting in the hypercar class with their LMH cars.

The real boom, however, should trigger the LMDh category, which is also capable of winning, in which, in addition to Cadillac and Acura, the three German heavyweights Audi, BMW and Porsche will also be involved from 2023. However: The 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2023 will apparently take place without a BMW!

BMW Motorsport Director Mike Krack has now for the first time publicly confirmed what has been circulating as a rumor for some time. In the first year of the new bolides, the carmaker from Munich will limit itself to deployments in the US IMSA series, in which the LMDh cars can compete parallel to the WEC.

"We have a tight timeline and not a lot of experience in the segment," said Krack in an interview with Motorsport aktuell. "This means that we have to focus, we can't dance at all weddings. That's why we're not racing at Le Mans in 2023 either. In the first year of the LMDh project, we're concentrating on America, the world's most important M- Market."

Audi and Porsche 2023 without BMW in Le Mans
This means that BMW's start in the WEC endurance world championship in the 2023 season is also off the table. Audi and VW sister company Porsche had meanwhile announced that they wanted to compete with their LMDh cars in both the sports car world championship and the IMSA.

At the middle of this year it was not yet clear at BMW M whether a start in the Le Mans 24h race was an option. The Munich-based company had initially only announced one IMSA program, but the former BMW-M managing director Markus Flasch said to Motorsport-Magazin.com at the time : "The use in the WEC and in Le Mans is absolutely possible. We'll look at it very carefully at." On November 1, 2021, Flasch was replaced by its predecessor, Franciscus van Meel, and returned to series production by the BMW Group.

Porsche rollout still in 2021 - BMW six months behind
Krack attributed the decision not to start the most famous race in the world at Le Mans to the short development time for the car that BMW recently presented as a concept study. And in fact, the Munich-based company is close to the German competition. Porsche had already committed itself to the new prototype class on December 16, 2020 - six months before BMW - and pushed ahead with the preparations.

With Multimatic, Porsche's chassis partner has also been determined, and each manufacturer can freely choose from a certain pool. The company, which is experienced in motorsport, also supplies its sister company Audi with chassis for the LMDh prototype. According to information from Motorsport-Magazin.com , the combustion engine in the Porsche and Audi also comes from a single source, with Porsche having the upper hand in the development of the V8 unit.

According to our information, the rollout of the Porsche prototype will even take place in mid-December of this year on the Weissach factory premises. "We're six months behind, that's the reality," said BMW man Krack. "That's why we try to give preference to a lot of things that we didn't want to do until the car is moving."

Krack: Everything has to work now
Engineers from former works projects in the DTM and Formula E are involved in the development of the so-called BMW M LMDh; the car is being built by chassis partner Dallara in Italy. The rollout will not take place until next year on the course in Varano. In order to familiarize itself with long-distance prototypes, BMW has also purchased an LMP2 car.

With the long-standing partner team Rahal-Letterman-Lanigan Racing (RLL for short), the IMSA team for the two LMDh cars has been determined. Krack: "In general, the development is a hot ride, because if you want to be at the start in Daytona in 2023, the car has to be homologated in the summer of 2022, and the core test phase has to be completed by then. We don't have a large amount of time in reserve. everything has to work now."
https://www.motorsport-magazin.com/2...h-auto-absage/
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