New BMW M boss Markus Flasch has confirmed the brand’s long-anticipated return to prototype racing with an LMDh program set for the formula’s debut in 2023. RACER has also independently confirmed the news, which was broken by Flasch on Instagram.
Other than a note mentioning the German brand will debut its LMDh at IMSA’s Rolex 24 At Daytona, no other details were provided, but RACER understands the effort will be heavily focused on North America.
With BMW’s name added to the list, LMDh has its fourth manufacturer to join Acura, Audi, and Porsche. It’s believed Cadillac and Lamborghini will soon confirm LMDh plans of their own, which would give the new hybrid class a healthy roster of auto manufacturers to launch LMDh in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Asked to provide additional details, a spokesperson said it was premature to do more than affirm the validity of the social media post: “BMW of North America is not prepared at this stage to add anything more beyond today’s informal Instagram post by Markus Flasch, CEO BMW M. BMW’s motorsport activities for 2022 and beyond are still in the development phase. Additional information will follow as soon as the details of the programs have been finalized.”
A full press release with details on the project is forthcoming, but at an undetermined date.
BMW’s last outing in prototype competition peaked with an overall win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1999. On the domestic front, BMW’s factory IMSA GTP program was brief but exceptionally fast in the mid-1980s, when it captured one win with Davy Jones and John Andretti in 1986 at Watkins Glen.