BMW is returning to Le Mans and WEC in 2018
BMW is returning to Le Mans in 2018! One of the world’s most recognizable automotive brands competed for the last time at 24 hours of Le Mans in 2011. The German manufacturer announces its return to Circuit de la Sarthe in 2018, as well as its entrance to the FIA World Endurance Championship.
“Starting with the 2018 season, we want to further expand our activities in GT racing and compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship… This obviously also includes our return to Le Mans, which we are particularly looking forward to. The way the WEC has developed so well makes us confident that there is a big future for GT racing”, BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt said.
BMW would join the FIA WEC competition in the LMGTE category, alongside current prestigious manufacturers such as Aston Martin, Ferrari, Ford and Porsche. The further details of the BMW’s FIA WEC programme will be announced in the following months. BMW’s car in the championship will be the GTE version of BMW M6, which already successfuly competes in the GT races around the world.
BMW’s entry in the world championship will also mark a return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, for the first time since 2011. In 2011 Le Mans race, BMW was represented by M3 GT2 in the GTE Pro class. The factory-entered crew in the #55 car didn’t finish the race. The year before, in 2010, BMW Motorsport’s cew reached 4th place in the GT2 class.
Prior to that, BMW ceased its Le Mans programme in 2000, after a sensational victory at 1999 race, with Joachim Winkelhock, Yannick Dalmas and Pierluigi Martini in the #15 BMW V12 LMR. It was the first and only overall win for BMW at Le Mans race. The last participation was recorded in 2000, with privately entered BMW V12 LM.