After severing ties with Audi, successful sportscar team WRT will manage BMW’s FIA World Endurance Championship program in 2024.
WRT is also anticipated to compete with BMW GT3 vehicles in the 2023 season. With Team RLL in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, BMW will make a comeback to the highest division of endurance racing in 2019. The new BMW M Hybrid V8 LMDh will make its competitive debut.
Following the entry of an M8 GTE in the GTE Pro category for the 2018-19 WEC superseason, BMW will move to collaborate with Vincent Vosse’s WRT team for its first attempt at an outright victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours since its previous victory in 1999. A WEC program will then be implemented in 2024.
WRT won the Nurburgring 24 Hours, Spa 24 Hours, and Bathurst 12 Hours in addition to numerous titles across SRO’s GT World Challenge platform while partnered with Audi since its inception as a GT3 team for the 2010 season. However, the Ingolstadt automaker and WRT have parted ways, and that news was made public earlier on Tuesday.
The Belgian team had intended to collaborate with Audi on its LMDh program for 2023 prior to its termination. This came after dominating the LMP2 class on its Le Mans début last year and winning the WEC and European Le Mans Series LMP2 titles.
“I am extremely happy with the start of this new partnership with BMW M Motorsport which is the logical next step for the team,” Vosse said. “We are not only thrilled about the challenge ahead but also thankful for BMW M Motorsport’s trust in us.”
“I can still remember when BMW M Motorsport won at Le Mans in 1999, as I was one of the drivers of the team in the neighbouring box. We will work hard to repeat these moments and live them together.”
The BMW M Hybrid V8 was first unveiled in Italy last month, not far from the headquarters of Dallara, the chassis partner. Before using the vehicle in the WEC, WRT will put it through a rigorous testing regimen.
Although a 2023 GT3 campaign with the team has not yet been discussed, WRT is anticipated to continue its LMP2 and GT3 programs next season.
“From the word go, discussions with Vincent Vosse and his partners were very positive,” BMW M Motorsport boss Andreas Roos said. “It was immediately clear that we share a passion for the WEC project and the BMW M Hybrid V8, and it did not take long to come to an agreement on collaboration.”
“There will now be a period of intensive preparations next year, before the first competitive appearances in 2024.”
“We have not yet considered any potential appearances for Team WRT in GT racing.”
“Over the coming months, we will make a decision about our race programme for the BMW M4 GT3 in the 2023 season in close collaboration with all our BMW M Motorsport teams.”