BMW Confirms Move to LMDh with BMW Team RLL

November 20, 2021 at 04:11 PM
BMW Confirms Move to LMDh with BMW Team RLL
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Road Atlanta. 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.

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.

 
 

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.

As the name of the new competition suggests, the Le Mans Daytona hybrid prototypes will feature an electrified powertrain by combining a gasoline engine with an electric motor. The combustion engine will deliver a minimum of 470 kilowatts (630 horsepower) while the Bosch-supplied hybrid setup will be capped at 50 kilowatts (67 hp). Combined, the total hybrid system will not deliver more than 500 kW (670 hp).

The battery pack will be provided by Williams Advanced Engineering while the transmission is going to be built by Xtrac for prototypes that will have to weigh at least 1,030 kilograms (2,271 pounds). The LMDh race cars will be imposingly long, stretching at up to 5,100 millimeters (201 inches) long and a maximum width of 2,000 millimeters (78.7 inches), with a fixed wheelbase of 3,150 millimeters (124 inches).

Per the regulations for LMDh prototypes, there will be a cost cap of €1,000,000 excluding the engine. BMW will build the first test car in Italy in cooperation with engineers from Dallara, with the goal being to hit the track in 2022 at the Varano track in Parma.

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