German premium motor manufacturer BMW, one of the world’s most recognisable automotive companies, has announced that it will join the FIA World Endurance Championship from 2018.
As part of its global motorsport strategy, BMW will enter the LM GTE PRO category alongside current prestigious manufacturers such as Aston Martin, Ferrari, Ford, and Porsche. Its entry in the world championship will also mark a return for the brand to the WEC’s Blue Ribbon race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, for the first time since 2011.
“Starting with the 2018 season, we want to further expand our activities in GT racing and compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt.
“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 currently compete in the US IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship with a GTLM M6. Whilst this is accepted with waivers in the US, it is unlikely to be the 2018 platform for the World stage. Indeed having now become familiar with the current GTE Pro spec Ford GT which incorporates significant aero, it will be fascinating to see what BMW bring to the championship. Suffice to say they must have seen the latest iteration of the regulations and can see opportunities for success.
Further details about the programme will be announced at a future date.