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FIA WEC : BMW M Team WRT entame la saison 2024 avec la BMW M Hybrid V8 et la BMW M4 GT3 — Premiers pilotes annoncés.

La première saison de BMW M Motorsport dans le Championnat du monde d'endurance FIA WEC se profile à l'horizon. La publication de la liste officielle des engagés confirme la participation de l’écurie BMW M Team WRT dans les catégories Hypercar et LMGT3. L'équipe belge alignera deux BMW M Hybrid V8 et deux BMW M4 GT3.

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Munich. La première saison de BMW M Motorsport dans le Championnat du monde d'endurance FIA WEC se profile à l'horizon. La publication de la liste officielle des engagés confirme la participation de l’écurie BMW M Team WRT dans les catégories Hypercar et LMGT3. L'équipe belge alignera deux BMW M Hybrid V8 et deux BMW M4 GT3. La composition initiale des équipages est également confirmée, Dries Vanthoor (BEL) et Sheldon van der Linde (RSA) prendront le volant des deux LMDh. Augusto Farfus (BRA) et Valentino Rossi (ITA) piloteront les deux BMW M4 GT3.

 

The nine-time motorcycle world champion will take on a new challenge in the BMW M4 GT3 with his iconic number 46. Already last season, he made his debut on the legendary Le Mans circuit (FRA) during the “Road to Le Mans” races and immediately won one of the two races. The two BMW M Team WRT BMW M Hybrid V8 cars will carry the numbers 15 and 20, while the second BMW M4 GT3 will have the number 31.

The additional drivers for BMW M Team WRT in the FIA WEC season 2024 will be announced at a later date. Both Vanthoor and van der Linde will be joined by two more BMW M works drivers each in the two BMW M Hybrid V8 cars. For the LMGT3 category, the regulations dictate the inclusion of amateur drivers.

 

Reactions to the FIA WEC lineup:

 

Andreas Roos (Head of BMW M Motorsport): “With the confirmation of our team for the Hypercar and LMGT3 classes, as well as the initial drivers, our comeback in the FIA WEC takes another important step. BMW M Team WRT is among the best teams globally in both the prototype and GT3 segments. For sporting and logistical reasons, Vincent Vosse's team was the logical choice to field both the BMW M Hybrid V8 and the BMW M4 GT3. The BMW M works drivers we have nominated possess the necessary driving skill and experience. Sheldon van der Linde is already familiar with the BMW M Hybrid V8, and Dries Vanthoor made a strong impression during test drives. Additionally, he has previously competed at Le Mans in an LMP2 prototype. Valentino Rossi made a strong debut at Le Mans this season, winning immediately in the BMW M4 GT3. Overall, his first season as a BMW M works driver has been very impressive. I am convinced that he will play an important role and be a crowd favorite in the FIA WEC. Augusto Farfus, with his experience and driving skill, will be a crucial pillar for the LMGT3 programme.”

 

Vincent Vosse (Team Principal BMW M Team WRT): “What a privilege for us as a team to be able to field both two BMW M Hybrid V8s and two BMW M4 GT3s for BMW M Motorsport in the FIA WEC! While we have two separate crews for the two projects, it will still be a significant challenge for WRT. But we love challenges! The drivers who will be working with us, we already know very well from previous joint racing commitments. Starting with Valentino Rossi in the FIA WEC is something truly special. We talked about this at our very first meetings. Now, this circle is closing, and it feels like we've already ticked most of the boxes we discussed back then.”

 

Dries Vanthoor (#15 BMW M Hybrid V8): “I am overjoyed to be part of the BMW M Motorsport WEC programme. It is a dream come true for me to be able to compete in the top class of endurance racing so I naturally aim to achieve good results. We have already conducted tests, and by the start of the season, we will have accomplished a lot of work. We are highly motivated to start the season successfully. I am very proud to be part of this significant programme. I want to thank BMW M Motorsport and everyone who has helped me reach this milestone in my career. Now we are working tirelessly to bring some beautiful trophies to Munich.”

 

Sheldon van der Linde (#20 BMW M Hybrid V8): “It has always been my big dream to drive at Le Mans. That I now get this chance with the BMW M Hybrid V8 is simply fantastic. I will be competing for the first time in an official FIA World Championship, which is also something very special for me. Until it kicks off next year in Qatar, we still have a lot of work ahead of us, but I am very much looking forward to working with BMW M Team WRT and my fellow drivers. The FIA WEC races on great tracks, many of which I need to learn  from new. However, adapting quickly to new tracks is one of my strengths. I am already familiar with the LMDh car from the IMSA series, which is an advantage. The power and aerodynamics of the BMW M Hybrid V8 remind me a bit of the old DTM cars. Racing with that is incredibly fun. I am very excited about the challenge, and even though it is significant, we will, of course, try to have a say in the title fight.”

 

Augusto Farfus (#31 BMW M4 GT3): “Being selected by BMW M Motorsport for the FIA WEC programme is a great honor. I am very grateful for that. I think the FIA WEC will be the biggest racing platform in the world next year, alongside Formula 1. We know the BMW M4 GT3 very well by now, which will surely help us. As well as the experience that the BMW M Team WRT has already gained in the series. Personally, I have not had much luck in my past starts at Le Mans. Hopefully, we can change that! Besides the 24 Hours of Le Mans, I am especially looking forward to my home race in São Paulo.”

 

Valentino Rossi (#46 BMW M4 GT3): “I am very excited to compete in the FIA WEC. It is the next step for me to participate in a world championship, not only in Europe but to race globally again. I am already familiar with the car after this season, but the format with three drivers from three different performance categories will be new for me. Overall, I believe we will be very well positioned.”

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