Utilising the new M2 Coupe, BMW replaced Audi as the Official Safety Car Supplier for legacy-charged 24 Hours Le Mans race from this year onwards – replacing the previous Audi R8, which bade farewell with an infamous drift in the wet.
It will be part of the 26-strong high-performance fleet supplied by the German automaker consisting of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé, BMW M3 Saloon and BMW X5 M which will be used as safety cars, medical and extrication cars as well as emergency cars for track officials.
BMW is already preparing for a return to the 24 Hours Le Mans race in 2018 not just as a supplier of ancillary vehicles, but to also pit its cars in the race for the first time since 2011. Development of the BMW M8 GTE race-spec car has been confirmed and will lead the charge in BMW Motorsport’s return to the European GT racing scene and will compete in the GTE Pro Class of the 24-hour race. This should sooth the pain from Porsche’s heart-braking decision to withdraw its LMP1 race car from the series.
“Starting with the 2018 season, we want to further expand our activities in GT racing and compete in the World Endurance Championship (WEC), as well as the IMSA SportsCar Championship,” said Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport director. “The way the World Endurance Championship (WEC) has developed so well makes us confident that there is a big future for GT racing.”
Photo by: Jean-René Roger (ACO) from news.bmw.co.uk