BMW’s LMDh M Hybrid V8 will premiere on both physical and virtual racetracks in 2023. If you’ve been following along, you’ve probably already seen the M Hybrid V8’s debut, engine specs, and official release party stories on BimmerLife. Testing of the M Hybrid V8 is currently underway with a first race scheduled at the 24 Hours of Daytona in January of next year, which is only a couple of months away.
The M Hybrid V8 will also be joining the likes of the M8 GTE, M4 GT4, and M4 GT3 race cars in the virtual world in 2023. BMW M Motorsport and iRacing have worked together to bring the LDMh car to your game room (or living room, or bedroom, or whichever room you race from), which is a first for the platform.
The pair had been collaborating throughout the development of the “real” car, sharing sensitive data to make the virtual car as realistic as possible. At the BMW SIM Live event this past Saturday, LMDh project leader at BMW M Motorsport Maurizio Leschiutta said, “As the head of such an important project, confidentiality is my number one priority; it would be fatal if the competition discovered the technical details of our car that we want to keep secret. In that respect, I came away really impressed by iRacing’s professionalism. We are making CAD data and findings from our simulator and racetrack tests available to iRacing. They are used as the basis on which to create a realistic virtual version. This gives every sim racer the opportunity to experience the performance of a state-of-the-art prototype and the appeal of BMW M Motorsport.”
iRacing Executive Vice President Steve Myers expressed his excitement to bring the new LMDh car to the platform and said, “We’ve been eagerly anticipating the LMDh class for a few years now, and BMW M Motorsport’s support has been indispensable in helping us to bring both their entry and the new class to iRacing. Building this car in the sim has been a joy for our team, and we can’t wait to see the community’s response upon release.”
If you’d like to get into sim racing, a number of BMW CCA’s chapters, like National Capital Chapter BMW CCA, run sim racing leagues. These are sponsored programs with professional commentators (and more). As we approach the end of the year, ‘tis the season to start thinking about sim racing equipment upgrades! —Mike Bevels
[Photos courtesy of BMW.]