BMW names its IMSA GTP drivers, reveals livery

In 2023, two BMW M Hybrid V8s promoted by BMW M Team RLL will be driven by factory BMW drivers. Connor De Phillippi, Nick Yelloly, Augusto Farfus and Philipp Eng will form the core driver roster for numbers 24 and 25 LMDh. Machines at the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship. American de Filippi and Britt Yellowley will pair in one, while Austrian England and Brazilian Farfus will campaign in the other.

“Ever since the GTP project was announced, it has been a dream of mine to be a part of the program,” said De Filippi. “I know we are all looking forward to delivering championship results for BMW at the top level of IMSA competition.”

In addition, BMW announced Thursday night at a special event held at the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles that IndyCar driver Colton Herta will be joining for the endurance race. Herta scores a 2019 Rolex 24 in Daytona victory in the GTLM class driving the M8 GTE.

The race livery for the car was also revealed at the event, whose attendees included BMW M CEO Franciscus van Miel, BMW M Motorsport chief Andreas Rouge, IMSA president John Doonan and BMW M Team RLL owner Bobby Rahal, David Letterman was involved. and Patrick Lanigan.

“There is no doubt that we understand and appreciate the level of commitment and dedication on the part of RLL to be successful in this new venture,” said Rahal.

“BMW M Motorsport is pleased to offer us a great car, great engines and a great driver lineup. We understand the scope of the challenge before us and look forward to meeting it. Like it has been before The level of collaboration and teamwork has been tremendous. Being on the ground floor definitely gives our personnel a good understanding of the car from the very beginning. I learned long ago that you keep your expectations in check. Yes, you should There are expectations and you know you will eventually succeed, but, as with any new car program, there are unforeseen circumstances that can work in your favor or work against you. It’s a matter of being prepared for either.

BMW is going up against Acura, Cadillac and Porsche in the new GTP class in 2023, which is designed around the LMDH specification as well as the WEC hypercar class. BMW will also take the car to WEC in 2024. The car has embarked on an intensive testing program in the US, including at Sebring International Raceway earlier this week, and will take part in IMSA-sanctioned group testing at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta after BMW Petit. Le Mans next weekend – during which the car will be displayed to the public with its race livery.

“Coming back into the top category of motorsport and battling for overall victories at great races like Daytona, Sebring and Road Atlanta in 2023 is both a great challenge and a big inspiration for everyone at BMW M Motorsport,” Rouge said. “We have worked very hard in recent months to get the BMW M Hybrid V8 ready for racing in a short amount of time. All of our partners at Dallara, BMW M Team RLL, our development team RMG, and BMW Group Designworks have been awarded the combination of the car. , thanks for the great support with development and testing. BMW M Hybrid V8 is a beautiful race car. Now it’s our job to accelerate it. We are working towards achieving this goal day by day and we We are confident that we will be ready in January when we first go into business in Daytona.

The outfit revealed Thursday night comes under the program leadership of Michael Scully, Global Director, Automotive & Advanced Design, from BMW Group DesignWorks. The Works livery represents a significant departure from the heritage-based ‘Icons of IMSA’ camouflage, facing the future of weapons, including modern, bold, fractal blocks of the iconic M colors and the M logo.

“These elements have been dismantled to form an abstract triangular pattern as in the BMW M Hybrid V4, but when viewed from the side, the M logo clicks right into place. – M reconstructed, if will you do.” Scully said.

Without camouflage, the car’s design is more readily apparent, and incorporates many recognizable design elements from BMW’s heritage, beyond the immediately obvious twin-kidney grille. These included a forward-sloping shark nose, a boomerang-shaped guide vane behind the front wheel arch, M mirrors and an interpretation of the long-used design ‘Hofmeister kink’ on BMW windows.

More importantly, the aero elements incorporated into the car became apparent in the new livery. The layout of the laser-lit kidney leads to the open, flow-through architecture of a modern prototype race car, which contributes to both aerodynamic performance in terms of downforce and cooling from the twin-turbo, 4.0-liter, 90-degree V8 .

There’s still a lot of testing to do before the BMW M Hybrid V8’s 24 and Rolex is ready for the Roar, but so far drivers have been happy with the experience they’ve been given and the opportunities they’ve been given.

“It is an honor for me that I have been given this unique opportunity,” said England. “I am really looking forward to the challenge and am grateful to BMW M Motorsports for believing in me. I will never forget my first lap in the BMW M Hybrid V8. This is a great racecar with an enormous amount of performance and power . It reminds me of class 1 cars in DTM. It would be great fun to drive it on an IMSA racetrack.”

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