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Featured WEC: BMW to Compete in 2018 Endurance Championship

Discussion in 'World Endurance Championship' started by Chris Stacey, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. Chris Stacey

    Chris Stacey
    Ted Kravitz Appreciation Society Staff Premium Member

    BMW.jpg BMW has announced that it will be competing in the 2018 World Endurance Championship.

    In order to further increase their global motorsport presence, the German outlet will enter the series in the LMGTE category in order to compete with fellow production car rivals such as Ferrari, Aston Martin, Corvette, Ford and their biggest rival, Porsche.

    The Director of BMW Motorsport, Jens Marquardt, had the following to say: "Starting with the 2018 season, we want to further expand our activities in GT racing and compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship. 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."

    As for additional details regarding their entry to the World Endurance Championship, it simply isn't known at this time, however further details will obviously be released in the coming weeks and months. However, one could speculate that they will most likely enter the series with their M6 GT car, properly converted and homologated to abide by the GTE series regulations. Given their immediate success with the M6 in this season's Blancpain GT series, this would likely be a safe bet. However, the 2018 season is still a fair way off and many things could still yet change, assuming they don't elect to use the M6.

    Are you excited for BMW to enter the pinnacle of Endurance racing? Can you see their success from the Blancpain GT series carrying over? Stick and stay with RaceDepartment.com for further details regarding this heavyweight entry.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
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  2. fortyfivekev

    fortyfivekev
    Premium Member

    From what I have read it seems more likely to be based on the next generation of M5 or M6 rather than the current car which would be getting a bit old by then to start a new program with.
     
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  3. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
    Premium Member

    Interesting news. Will be good to have another major make in GTE.

    Oddly enough I was going to set up an informal poll as to who people would like to see run in GTE as well as GT3. Would love to see a Lambo GTE at Le Mans and WEC :)

    I believe the standard regulation is that a car has to be raced for three years minimum before being replaced with a newer model. As usual in GT3 this is stop manufacturers spending millions bringing in new cars every year. It could be based on the next generation M6 as @fortyfivekev mentions. All depends on their plans long term.

    I wouldn't say the car has had great results though. Yes it won the Spa 24 but otherwise the car has underwhelmed all year. It's been quick in qualifying but just doesn't seem to have the pace in the races (it's usually bogged down in the mid-field). BoP probably has something to do with it but it's certainly not as competitive as the Z4 was.

    Something to look forward to though :thumbsup::)
     
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  4. Well they confirmend what we already known.

    Good to see another new brand to WEC's GT campaign. It's getting stronger with the minute
     
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  5. M3 was always their Le Mans or GT2 car, just keep it like that, the M6 is junk.
     
  6. Hey guys I think you're forgetting BMW already has a GTE spec car, the IMSA M6. racing in Weathertech
     
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  7. I thought they were just racing in the GTD/GT3 class? If so they could already start participating in WEC in the 2017 season ;)
     
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  8. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
    Premium Member

    Yeah I'd forgotten about that one :rolleyes:

    Looking at the pictures of it though I don't think it has the 2016 aero regs? The current GTE cars are allowed massive rear diffusers and the ACO/FIA changed the aero regulations on the GTE class cars for this year (they are trying to make the performance gap to GT3 bigger I think). Whether IMSA allowed the cars to run as '15 spec as well I'm not sure.

    Maybe BMW are just using IMSA as a test bed to see whether the car would be competitive in GTE and now they've decided which way to go.

    EDIT: Hmmm, Interesting just been looking at pics of the Ferrari and it certainly seems to be a 2016 aero kit on it, whereas the M6 looks almost the same as it's GT3 cousin.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
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  9. "The GT3 version of the BMW M6 had to be modified for the GTLM version, in order to comply with the ACO regulations which apply in the GTLM class of the IWSC. Even while developing the GT3 car, BMW Motorsport already took into account the changes that would be required to make it possible to start in the GTLM class."
    Its a GT3 car built into GTLM, wasn't built like a separate class car from the start.
     
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  10. Alex Townsend

    Alex Townsend
    Premium Member

    I like the fact that BMW are putting their cars in to the WEC, shows strength in the series and the benefit to the manufacturers to compete in it.
    It's just that the M6 is such a large car that it's not quite as exciting as them entering say a new Z5/6 model... I.E. a larger more powerful Z series variant than the impressive Z4.
    The M6 just looks cumbersome and it's proved that this year. Apart from the win at Spa of course
     
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  11. Christian Moreau

    Christian Moreau
    From the land of Mounties and Maple Syrup Premium Member

    Actually, the M6 GTLM competing in the WeatherTech championship is making use of the new 2016 GTE regulations although the differences are very minimal. The front splitter between the GT3 and GTLM versions isn't all that different but the rear diffuser on the GTLM is much bigger than its GT3 counterpart. The wing on the GTLM version is different as well, as seen in the picture below.

    [​IMG]

    Also, I believe one of the reasons why BMW is creating an entirely new car for the WEC is due to the fact that the WEC regulations only allow a maximum of a 4.0L engine whereas the current GTLM version is a 4.4L variant. Correct me if I'm wrong but this was what I've heard.
     
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  12. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
    Premium Member

    Interesting. Thanks for that mate. I love endurance racing but with WEC, Blancpain and IMSA there's only so much time to watch (and space on the Sky box! ;))
     
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  13. Christian Moreau

    Christian Moreau
    From the land of Mounties and Maple Syrup Premium Member

    I'm in the same boat as you, I just can't get enough of endurance racing. :D I'm also a big fan of the M6, regardless of the mediocre debut this year. I think it looks absolutely awesome and I could fall asleep just listening to the drone of that V8. :p

    The next 2 years should be especially great for GT racing. Next year, GT Daytona will have new entries for the Lexus RC F GT3, NSX GT3 and the AMG GT3 and with BMW's 2018 entry for the WEC, those two series are going to be the ones to watch in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
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  14. fortyfivekev

    fortyfivekev
    Premium Member

    Agreed. The race car looks a lot better to me than the road version which is a bit of a boat. Plus see it on track next to a Bentley and it looks normal sized.

    @Andrew Harper Also ELMS, GT Open and British GT as well.
     
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  15. Lorenzo Bonder

    Lorenzo Bonder
    #forçaChape Staff

    Bye bye Ford dominance.

    All I need now is Jaguar and Bentley back into the program and the WEC will finally be my favorite class of all time.
     
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  16. well GTLM spec Fords have been for the most part thrashing GTLM spec M6's on all types of tracks in WTSCC, so not really sure about that. Although this was the debut year for both models, so time will tell.
    Great to see GTE get another team, looking forward to seeing BMW competing in WEC.
     
  17. sidewinder26

    sidewinder26
    Premium Member

    Cool news. It is nice to see manufacturers are still interested in doing proper racing programmes even with the automotive industry heading to motorsport-unfriendly stuff like autonomous cars.
     
  18. I think this just highlights how messy the whole GT rules backdrop has become. GTE, GT3, GTLM. The cars have such a massive crossover in terms of reach and the talent pool they garner, why they could not see sense and just combine / consolidate the rulesets is beyond me.
     
  19. Sunny Sky Speed

    Sunny Sky Speed
    Livery Designer Premium Member

    I only want sth like this from BMW...
    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Open cockpit is dead unfortunately, thanks FIA.
     
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