BMW have today confirmed that the upcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans will be the final race for the German manufacturer’s cars as a factory backed effort in the World Endurance Championship.
Despite achieving two podium finishes in Fuji and Sebring during the WEC’s ‘Super Season’, the team has failed to win a race.
“We will not compete in WEC going forward,” said BMW Group Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “Therefore, the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June will be another highlight for us in drawing to a close, just like in 2018, when we celebrated the successful world premiere of the BMW 8 Series Coupe there.
“But in light of us sharpening our focus as part of our strategy for the future, continuing our WEC involvement in the coming years does not fit with our direction.
“We would like to thank BMW Team MTEK for its dedication over recent years and we wish WEC all the best and hope that it makes good progress.”
BMW will continue racing in IMSA’s GTLM class with the M8 however, meaning Team RLL will continue its long-standing programme racing in the USA with the Bavarian brand.
“The global presence of BMW M Motorsport is safeguarded by customer racing and the DTM in Asia and Europe, as well as the IMSA series in North America, even without competing in a world championship.
“The IMSA series plays a central role for us in North America and is developing well. The USA is the most important market for BMW M cars, so it is very fitting to build a direct bridge to our production models there with the BMW M8 GTE.”
In a statement on the decision MTEK boss Ernest Knoors hinted they were actively looking for new partners to remain in the WEC “I have to say that we would have liked to continue as a team.
“We feel at home in the WEC pitlane and have acquired a lot of experience that we would like to put to good use.”
BMW’s withdrawal leaves the GTE Pro class at eight cars for next season as of today. While Porsche, Aston Martin and Ferrari (via AF Corse) are set to continue, the future of Ford’s GTE Pro entry remains in doubt beyond this year’s Le Mans finale.