BMW returning to Le Mans in 2018 with LMGTE-Class
The German auto-making giant, BMW is reorganising its entire auto racing efforts under one umbrella. Very soon, every automotive racing effort by BMW will be called BMW Group Motorsport. This would also include the sporting presence of Mini and the ‘i’ brands as well. The BMW Group Motorsport will work toward the BMW’s “Strategy Number One > Next” plan, that calls for cutting-edge technology. Continuing getting further into this initiative, BMW has declared its intentions to return to Le Mans in 2018. The Last Time BMW participated at the iconic event was in 2011 with a works effort. BMW has also committed to GT racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Furthermore, they will also be racing at touring car racing in DTM, electric open-wheel racing in the FIA Formula E Championship and off-road rally competition with Mini in the Dakar Rally.
The automaker will also continue to offer support to customers racing in GT3 and GT4. To return for the Le Mans race, instead of fighting in the LMP1 class, BMW will compete in LMGTE class. Thus, from 2018 Le Mans, BMW will be rivalling with the Ferraris, Corvettes, and Porsches that currently dominate the class. At present, BMW races at the IMSA WeatherTech series with the M6 GTLM. However, it also has the M6 GT3 and M4 GT4 for the respective classes as well. The last time when BMW was at Le Mans in 2011, it took third in the LMGTE class with a BMW M3 GT2. With this commitment, BMW says its focus on production-based racing will be intensified. Sadly though, it might mean that the hydrogen-powered prototype we were looking forward to won’t be racing anytime soon.
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Interestingly, BMW is also going to be present at the Formula E championship. For the same, the German maker has joined hands with the Andretti Formula E team for the 2018/2019 season. The range of this collaboration covers engineering sharing along with the resources as well. BMW will also provide works driver António Félix da Costa for two seasons for the same. With BMW joining the Formula E championship after Jaguar, Audi and Faraday Future, the future of this series looks promising.
Stay tuned with us as we bring you more on this topic as the developments happen. Do let us know what you think of the rise of Formula E championship in the comments section below.