BMW WILL RETURN TO LE MANS.30/09/2016
In 2018, BMW will return to Le Mans. It’ll be 19 years after its first and only outright victory at la Sarthe, though this time BMW is going after GT-class silverware, rather than prototype glory. The confirmed commitment to enter the FIA World Endurance Championship, of which Le Mans is the calendar’s flagship event, has been announced as part of BMW’s new motorsport strategy, which focuses on ‘production-based cars’. Meanwhile, BMW’s dipping a toe in the water of electric motorsport. Munich’s motorsport masterplan includes two seasons of support for Mario Andretti’s Formula E team. ‘Support’ means “cooperation at engineer level and the mutual use of resources” rather than waving banners and sounding klaxon horns here, but BMW’s serious about entering the championship with a full works team. It’s announced, “depending on the general development of the racing series, a works involvement is envisaged as of the 2018/2019 season, provided the conditions and circumstances are right. BMW’s i-cars could well be going racing, then, giving Munich one of the widest portfolios in all motorsport. Though it’s not been in Formula One for seven years, BMW’s been quietly doing rather well in international racing away while Mercedes has been racking up the F1 wins. A customer M6 GT3 won the Spa 24 Hours this year, while BMW itself took the DTM constructor’s title in 2012, 2013 and 2015. Now Le Mans, Formula E and GT3 are on the cards.