BMW M Team WRT will be racing the M Hybrid V8 LMDh prototype in the 2024 FIA WEC championship, but in 2023 they’ll be racing the M4 GT3, and the Belgian team has announced their drivers for the races and championships they’ll compete in next season, which includes works drivers and a MotoGP star.
The teams first official outing as a BMW works team will be in February at the Bathurst 12 Hour on the challenging Mount Panorama circuit, in the opening round of the Intercontinental GT Championship. WRT will enter two M4 GT3s at Bathurst, with the #46 car driven by works drivers Maxime Martin and Augusto Farfus, along with nine-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi. Rossi started racing cars around three years ago after he retired from motorcycle racing and drove an Audi in the GT World Challenge Europe series for WRT this past season. The #32 M4 GT3 will be driven at Bathurst by a trio of works drivers, including newcomers Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts, as well as 2022 DTM champion Sheldon van der Linde.
M Team WRT is also planning to race in the Kyalami 9 Hour in South Africa in February, which is round two of the Intercontinental GT Challenge. Both cars will then compete in the GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup championship, with the first race taking place in mid-May at Brands Hatch in England. Maxime Martin and Valentino Rossi will drive the #46 car together in that championship, while Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts will share the #32 car. “The opposition will be even tougher in all the races, but I am confident that we will also be successful with the BMW M4 GT3, together with WRT and BMW M Motorsport,” said Vanthoor. “The front-engine car will be a change and a challenge for me, but my impressions from the initial tests have been very positive. The BMW M4 GT3 has great potential.”
The WRT team will also be competing in the Dubai 24 Hour race on the weekend of January 13th-15th, but that race will primarily be used as an extended test session to get ready for the 2023 season. —David Haueter
[Photo courtesy BMW]