BMW has announced it will race its M Hybrid V8 hypercar in the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2024, following its entry into the US-based IMSA Sportscar Championship next year.
The WEC includes the Le Mans 24 Hours, so 2024 will be the first time that BMW has made an appearance at the iconic event since 1999, when it was victorious with the V12 LMR.
“The decision to run the BMW M Hybrid V8 in the IMSA series from 2023 and the WEC from 2024 is a milestone for the project,” said BMW M CEo Frank van Meel.
“I sampled and marvelled at the extraordinary flair of the 24 Hours of Le Mans during my first term as CEO of BMW M, so I'm very excited to be challengig for overall victory as BMW M Motorsport again at this classic and in the whole WEC for the first time for decades.
"The BMW M Hybrid V8 represents a turning point towards electrification for BMW M. The IMSA series in North America and the WEC, which takes place all over the world, are the perfect platforms on which to use our prototype to show how exciting electrified BMW M cars will be in the future.”
Designed according to the new Le Mans Daytona Hybrid (LMDh) regulations, the BMW M Hybrid V8 is one of a number of all-new electrified endurance racers from mainstream manufacturers due to hit the track in the coming years.
It was shown off for the first time at Goodwood's Festival of Speed as part of BMW's central feature.
Audi was due to join sibling brand Porsche in the series from next year but has put its plans on ice.
The GTP category will also include entrants built to the Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) rules, so the Toyota GR010 Hybrid and new Peugeot 9X8 should take to the grid alongside the LMDh cars at the 24 Hours of Daytona in January for the first race of the 2023 season.