Bmw pulls out of WEC

Miguel Batista

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Jun 2, 2011
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After Ford's recent announcement that it would be pulling its manufacturer team from the GTE competition at the end of the season now BMW announced that they too will abandon WEC. I for one am worried about the future of WEC. First the LMP1 class gets axed being replaced with something that apparently no one knows what is going to be. These new Hypercars don't have a set of rules yet and brands seem to be having too much of a say, and now the GTE field is getting pretty thin indeed.

What can WEC do to get teams on board again? Open the endurance championship to GT3 cars? Run a mixed field of LMP2 and GTE cars with the privateer LMP1 cars in the lead? What is going to happen?

Personally GTE cars are some of my favourite in SIM racing and real life and would be sad to see the class go.
Who knew back in 2016 that a mere 3 years on the championship would be apparently so troubled.
 
Nov 3, 2015
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Followed a day later by IMSA giving BMW a BoP break. Entirely coincidental timing, I'm sure. Frankly, get the hell out, BMW, you commited for *one season*. Ford stuck it out a year past their program end date & said they'd support privateers, but let's not forget they entered an unhomologated car in the first place.

New P1 rules were published months ago, SCG are building a car. IMO manufacturers are playing stupid games right now - I'm sure some ( not mentioning Mclaren & Aston-Martin, honest ) are looking at P1 as a channel for directly selling their next gen hypercar road product, which have very limited production rates. A bunch of customer team sales - possibly repeats due to damage - has to be an attractive prospect for a super low volume item. Horribly short sighted and I'm glad that is currently nixed. The ACO have been letting themselves get pushed around too much because they were in a rush to replave P1, and this is the result, everyone holding out for their own wants.

The WEC goes through regular boom & bust cycles, it was due a bust. GT in general needs a shakeup soon anyway. GTE-AM is thriving, if it came to it they could just fold both classes together again. GT3 is getting slightly out of control, car costs are a bit insane and the performance is getting uncomfortably high for some places they race. The new SRO GT2 class is I think the eventual intended replacement, after a few years to get the class established. Something along those lines would be good for the WEC, lots of power but slower laptimes so no tangling with protos. GT needs to start embracing hybrid soon though.
 
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dud

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Nov 23, 2016
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I think it is also car related. BMW, as street car manufacturer, had no light-ish car left in the program after the retirement of the e89 Z4.

While you can make a brick fly if you give it enough power I don't think the M6 and M8 cars were ever what you really wanted for that kind of racing.

They are doing a new Z4 now, but it doesn't look as friendly to the radical e89 Z4 GT3/GTE changes that they did at the time. The e89 has a rather odd geometry for a 2-seat convertible, which gave room for the mid-engine. Who knows what the new toy is like.
 
Nov 3, 2015
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They are doing a new Z4 now, but it doesn't look as friendly to the radical e89 Z4 GT3/GTE changes that they did at the time. The e89 has a rather odd geometry for a 2-seat convertible, which gave room for the mid-engine. Who knows what the new toy is like.
There's some wierd regulation that stops them making a GT3 out of the Z4, because it uses the same platform as a 4-door car ( don't ask me ). Hopefully they can get a waver for that. There's apparently a new M6 in the works though.
 

dud

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There's some wierd regulation that stops them making a GT3 out of the Z4, because it uses the same platform as a 4-door car ( don't ask me ). Hopefully they can get a waver for that. There's apparently a new M6 in the works though.
Well, if they make a new M6 lighter than the 6-series has been so far, because the 8-series is now the heavyweight thing, that would be fine with me.

Overall a very dissatisfactory situation both for buying their street cars and for their racing efforts.
 

Turk

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Jul 29, 2011
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IMO manufacturers are playing stupid games right now - I'm sure some ( not mentioning Mclaren & Aston-Martin, honest ) are looking at P1 as a channel for directly selling their next gen hypercar road product, which have very limited production rates.
I don't think those manufactures need a race series to sell their hyper cars. Most are sold before they even go into production. It seems there's more than enough people rich enough to buy a toy car for multiple millions.

The race cars do present their own revenue stream, now they can sell their cut down hypercars at inflated prices and are almost guaranteed a certain amount of spare part sales throughout a season.

The manufacturers are businesses, they need to be making money or see some sort of benefit, none of them are doing it for pride or a competitive spirit.
 
Nov 3, 2015
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No-one makes money on racing directly unless they sell racing chassis - it's mostly about brand image unless you're Toyota who run the LMP out of the R&D budget ( which is what the entire type of car was meant to be for, and why the ACO still try and push new technology into it ).

McLaren dicked around with the ACO working out the 2020 rules and then turned away, only to turn back when there was a chance to throw complete road cars in? that's not a manufacturer committing to a ( somewhat indirect ) marketing channel, that's an opportunist move aimed at something, and if that something is selling 20 multi-million currency X racing tuned chassis they're already building anyway - plus the support package from their recently in-house GT racing program - why not try it on. If the series collapses a year later they've still sold 'em. All speculation, but far too easy a fit.

Have been informed there's some huge news about WEC coming soon anyway ( and a rather horrible rumour about fragmentation ) so I'm done with speculating for now. Literally every side of this except the actual teams are making me pretty annoyed. Kudos to MTEK for desperately trying to keep the program going.