Less than two years ago, BMW’s board of directors gave approval to compete in endurance racing in the highest global category – LMDh. Given that, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the two all-new racers from BMW and Porsche (who had similar schedules) finished last in class at this year’s Daytona 24 Hours. And these results have many positives to offer. Still, as a BMW fan, it hurts a little to have the beautiful BMW M Hybrid V8 engines slow down so significantly at this year’s race.
Let’s see what the team bosses had to say:
We focused on staying focused, driving consistently and not making any mistakes. The drivers, the BMW M Motorsport engineers and the BMW M Team RLL succeeded. Unfortunately, it was mainly the common components of the hybrid system that caused us problems that we have to analyze together – especially with the number 25 as we fell far behind by replacing numerous components at the beginning of the race. It’s really a shame that our hard work over the last few weeks and months hasn’t been rewarded with a better result. Nevertheless, I am proud and grateful that we have made great progress with the project in such a short time and have crossed the finish line with both BMW M Hybrid V8s. Our ambition is to achieve victories and podiums. We are highly motivated to draw the right conclusions from this race and come back even stronger at Sebring.
Andreas Roos (Head of BMW M Motorsport)
Team boss Bobby Rahal is also optimistic about Sebring.
There were small problems, but we weren’t the only ones. Overall it was a good start for us and now we will work to get better at Sebring. It wasn’t a win – but it almost feels like a win
Bobby Rahal (Team Principal BMW M Team RLL)
You can read BMW’s full review below.
Official Release: BMW M Hybrid V8 finishes 6th in the 24 Hours of Daytona
Daytona, FL – January 29, 2023. . . Just 598 days after the BMW Group Board of Management decision and 188 days after the roll-out, the new BMW M Hybrid V8 completed its first endurance test at the 24 Hours of Daytona (USA). After a short development period, the first BMW M Motorsport racing car with hybrid drive took up the great challenge of the long-distance classic – and both BMW M Team RLL prototypes crossed the finish line. The #24 BMW M Hybrid V8 secured sixth place overall and in the GTP class. After a long break for repairs early in the race, the number 25 car finished ninth in the GTP category. Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of the BMW Group, visited Daytona as the car made its racing debut.
The season opener of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Daytona International Speedway marked the start of a new era in prototype motorsport. It was the first time LMDh hybrid-powered cars had competed in the GTP class, giving the BMW M Hybrid V8 its baptism of fire in race conditions. Philipp Eng (AUT), Augusto Farfus (BRA), Marco Wittmann (GER) and Colton Herta (USA) put in a consistent performance in the #24 car. The quartet were within striking distance of a podium finish for some time before problems with the hybrid system resulted in a braking problem in the final quarter of the race that cost significant time. Final driver Philipp Eng crossed the finish line in sixth place.
After around an hour, the car with starting number 25 had to be pushed into the pits for an extended repair stop in the BMW M Team RLL garage. After the failure of the hybrid drive train – a common component of all manufacturers – numerous components had to be replaced. That lasted around two and a half hours and meant that Connor De Phillippi (USA), Nick Yelloly (GBR), Sheldon van der Linde (RSA) and Colton Herta, who started in both cars, had to sit at the very back of the field. They still managed to finish the race and rack up test kilometers that will prove valuable given the short preparation time and the rest of the upcoming season.
On June 10, 2021, the BMW Group Board of Management gave the go-ahead for the development of an LMDh vehicle. Almost a year later, on July 25, 2022, the BMW M Hybrid V8 completed its roll-out in Varano de’ Melegari (ITA). The development and testing phases of the complex hybrid car were correspondingly short, which made preparations for the racing debut particularly challenging.
Turner Motorsport and Paul Miller Racing compete in the GTD class.
The GTP cars were joined at Daytona by three BMW M4 GT3s that competed in the two GTD categories. In the GTD PRO class, Turner Motorsport competed with the #95 BMW M4 GT3. The BMW M works drivers John Edwards (USA) and Bruno Spengler (CAN) were in sixth place, Bill Auberlen and Chandler Hull (both USA) had to retire around two and a half hours before the end due to steering problems. They were classified in ninth place. In the GTD class, BMW M works drivers Maxime Martin (BEL), Bryan Sellers, Madison Snow and Corey Lewis (all USA) drove the #1 BMW M4 GT3 for Paul Miller Racing to eighth place. After a few technical problems, Turner Motorsport crossed the finish line in 17th place with the #96 BMW M4 GT3 and the drivers Jens Klingmann (GER) – also BMW M works driver – Robby Foley, Michael Dinan and Patrick Gallagher (all USA).
Big performance by BMW M in Daytona.
BMW M was not only represented on the race track in Daytona. On Friday, BMW M GmbH CEO Franciscus van Meel presented the new BMW M3 CS (fuel consumption (combined): 10.4 to 10.1 l/100 km, CO2 emissions combined: 234 – 229 g /km according to WLTP). The Safety Cars were the BMW XM (fuel consumption (combined) in l/100 km: 1.6-1.5 (WLTP); electricity consumption (combined) in kWh/100 km: 30.1-28.9 (WLTP); Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 36-33 (WLTP). Electric range in km: 82-88 (WLTP)) and BMW M4 CSL (fuel consumption (combined): 10.1 – 9.8 l/100 km; Combined CO2 emissions: 227 – 222 g/km according to WLTP). BMW M was again title sponsor of the BMW M Endurance Challenge, the season opener of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. Five new BMW M4 GT4s took part in the 4-hour race. The best-placed crew from Stephen Cameron Racing finished 13th.