The last time BMW has entered and won at the 24 Hours of Le Mans was in 1999 with the V12 LMR. However, that victory never got a follow-up – at least in the same category.
Fortunately, BMW announced in June 2021 that it's returning to Daytona in 2023, marking the automaker's return to top-flight sports car racing, joining the new LMDh prototype category. And today, BMW Motorsport indulges its fans with a sketch teaser of its upcoming LMDh prototype contender.
Produced in close collaboration between BMW M Motorsport and BMW Group Designworks, the BMW M LMDh prototype's design is said to unite the "iconic elements of BMW M Motorsport design DNA with the performant architecture of an ultra-modern prototype" that exemplifies "visceral efficiency."
Visually, the prototype teaser shows only a few details about the upcoming top-tier race car. The BMW M colors are prominent by the massive front splitter, while the huge kidneys upfront reflecting the evolution of the automaker's signature throughout the years. The teaser largely shows the front end, but a closer look kind of previews the big wing that almost spans the entire rear.
The Road To Le Mans:
Though BMW hasn't confirmed its return to Le Mans in 2023, its upcoming participation at the 2023 Daytona 24 Hours leaves a trail for us to believe so. Daytona endurance race is effectively the first race at which LMP2-based LMDh prototypes can race. With the doors open for LMDh prototypes in between IMSA and WEC, we see no reason for BMW to not enter its race car at Circuit de la Sarthe.
BMW Motorsport also announced that BMW Team RLL will compete in the two LMDh prototypes as of 2023, continuing the collaboration that has been around since 2009. BMW chooses Dallara for the M LMDh's chassis.