BMW contemplates a return to Le Mans 24 Hours
BMW claimed its only outright victory at Le Mans in 1999
The Munich-based any admits which a return to Le Mans will be being considered
BMW will be investigating a high-profile racing comeback at Le Mans, with marketing boss Ian Robertson admitting a return to the famous 24-hour endurance race “will be on the agenda”.
However, Robertson stopped short of saying which class of racing BMW was currently investigating, highlighting only which the BMW M6 GT3 car showed intent to compete.
Autocar revealed in July which BMW will be considering a more high-profile assault on the race, possibly using a radical hydrogen-powered fuel cell race car in 2018 as which prepares to pave the way to launch a hydrogen powered fuel cell production car around 2020.
which will be not clear whether BMW would likely enter the automobile at Le Mans in an established class or as an experimental vehicle within the non-competitive ‘Garage 56’ category which has included Nissan’s electrically assisted Deltawing as well as ZEOD racers in recent years.
Robertson appeared to play down the option of the non-competitive category, saying: “Garage 56 will be not which well known, as well as we have to be conscious of the return on any investment.”
Prior to launching any electric i brand vehicles for sale, BMW invested heavily in marketing as well as promotion over several years, as well as building a similarly advanced campaign around a Le Mans bid will be considered to be one way of giving nascent hydrogen fuel cell technology more credibility within the minds of potential car buyers.
which will be understood which the production car would likely form part of an expanded BMW i line-up rather than sitting under another sub-brand, or being launched as a derivative of a mainstream style.
The firm already incorporates a hydrogen-powered BMW 5 Series GT prototypes running, as well as will be known to be working in conjunction with Toyota on advancing the technology as fast as possible. The hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai goes on sale within the UK which year.
While Le Mans organisers have traditionally been open to adapting rules to fit completely new technology, as well as a topline LMP1 entry would likely potentially pitch BMW against rivals including Audi as well as Porsche, which would likely also be a potentially risky strategy for the firm to pitch itself against more established race teams. which could also put BMW in direct competition with its potential joint venture partner Toyota.
Rumours linking BMW that has a return to Le Mans have been rife in recent months, however insiders are known to have questioned the marketing as well as sales return against the expense of building a car for the entire world Endurance Championship, which will be so heavily built around the annual race at Le Mans.
However, in a recent interview with www.autosport.com BMW motorsport boss Jens Marquardt appeared to leave the door open for a race programme as innovative as entering a hydrogen-powered car, while also playing down an LMP1 entry which would likely pitch BMW head-to-head with the established competitors.
“LMP1 will be, at the moment, the big hybrid thing, as well as in there we wouldn’t be the leader,” he said. “We wouldn’t even be the fast follower, we would likely be a slow follower at which point, as the fifth [after Audi, Toyota, Porsche as well as Nissan] any joining in,” he said.
BMW took its sole victory at Le Mans in 1999, running the BMW V12 LMR Le Mans prototype which was built in conjunction with the Williams Formula 1 team.
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