The 2024 racing season is coming up fast, and BMW M Motorsport has a lot on their plate for 2024. They will, of course, continue with the GTP program with BMW M Team RLL in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, but they will also be competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) with BMW M Team WRT, which will include entry in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Work has been done all year to get ready for the entry into WEC in 2024, including recent testing at the Spa-Franchorchamps circuit in Belgium. BMW M Motorsport also used the track time at Spa to test an Evo upgrade for the M4 GT3.
BMW M Motorsport has put a lot of different drivers into the M Hybrid V8 prototype both in testing for the IMSA season and in WEC testing, and they had five different drivers in the car at Spa, with newcomer Robin Frijns behind the wheel, along with Maxime Martin, René Rast, Marco Wittmann, and Nick Yelloly. It was especially important to have Yelloly and Wittmann on hand, as Yelloly has been competing in the full IMSA season with BMW M Team RLL in the car, and Wittmann drove it at both Daytona and Sebring. Works drivers Augusto Farfus, Jens Klingmann, and Bruno Spengler were on hand to drive the M4 GT3 EVO.
The focus of the test was not only to get potential drivers some seat time in the M Hybrid V8, but also to work on optimizing the various systems in the car, of which there are many. “Our testing work with the BMW M Hybrid V8 for the WEC entry continues to make very good progress,” said Head of BMW M Motorsport Andreas Roos. “We are right on schedule. It’s clear that having the vehicle in both race action in the IMSA series and testing here in Europe is a benefit. The dual pool of experiences benefits all sides, BMW M Team WRT as well as BMW M Team RLL and our BMW M Motorsport engineers.”
Robin Frijns has a lot of prototype experience and is the most recent BMW M Motorsport works driver, having been signed in August. “As I have only recently become a part of this fantastic project, I am still in the process of comprehending the BMW M Hybrid V8 in all its complexity,” he said. “I am learning with each lap. However, things have gone very well here at Spa-Francorchamps, and we have made significant progress with the car. I am looking forward to the upcoming tests.” Frijns has some previous experience with BMW, as he was the 2010 Formula BMW Europe driver champion.
On the GT side, the M4 GT3 EVO will be introduced for the 2025 season and will improve vehicle functionalities and component reliability, as well as improved handling and drivability. “I am thrilled to be involved in the development of the BMW M4 GT3 EVO right from the beginning,” said works driver Bruno Spengler. “I have always enjoyed this aspect, also during my DTM days. The EVO represents progress in many areas compared to the current BMW M4 GT3. Drivability is a crucial factor, as well as tire durability over longer distances. We definitely see improvements in this regard. Here at Spa-Francorchamps, we drove the BMW M4 GT3 EVO in wet conditions for the first time, and the car is proving to be a true all-rounder.”
[Photos courtesy BMW]