Preparations ahead of the debut of BMW M Team WRT’s FIA WEC Hypercar in 2024 continued this week when the Belgian team completed a three-day test at Spa-Francorchamps with an M Hybrid V8.
During the three days of running, which were held in mixed conditions, five of BMW’s factory drivers took turns behind the wheel. Robin Frijns, Maxime Martin and Rene Rast were joined by Marco Wittmann and Nick Yelloly, who have been competing with the LMDh prototype in the IMSA WeatherTech championship with Team RLL.
BMW M Team WRT (and the drivers on hand), used the time available to optimize the car’s systems and performance, building on the experience gained at the Belgian team’s first major test with the car at Motorland Aragon in Spain back in June.
“The three test days have gone very well,” said Vincent Vosse, WRT’s team principal.
“Once again, we’ve learned a lot, which continues to push us forward in preparation for the WEC season in 2024. At the moment, it’s crucial to accumulate as much mileage as possible and to do our homework with the car as well as with the team. It’s working well.”
Andreas Roos, the head of BMW M Motorsport, is also pleased with the car’s performance in testing with WRT so far.
BMW says everything is on schedule with regard to the Hypercar’s development.
“Our testing work with the BMW M Hybrid V8 for the WEC entry continues to make very good progress,” he said. “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.
“The fact that we had Marco Wittmann and Nick Yelloly testing the LMDh car here at Spa-Francorchamps, drivers who are already very familiar with the BMW M Hybrid V8 from their race experiences in North America, underscores this valuable synergy.”
Also out testing alongside WRT’s M Hybrid V8 in Belgium was a Porsche Penske-run 963 Hypercar and a BMW M4 GT3 EVO, operated by BMW M Motorsport. The new evo-spec GT3 model, which ran with elements of its bodywork in camouflage at the test, is set to make its race debut in 2025.
The BMW M4 GT3 EVO wore a partial disguise while on track.
BMW M Motorsport says it will utilize the remainder of 2023 and the entirety of 2024 to refine the new kit. The aim of the evolution is to “expand vehicle functionalities, enhance component reliability, improve handling for the teams, and further enhance drivability.”
“We are already looking ahead,” said Roos. “We started very early with the EVO version of the BMW M4 GT3 and we’re intentionally taking the time to improve our already highly successful model for the 2025 season. All with the aim of celebrating more years of victories and titles for our drivers and teams, both in the LMDh and GT3 categories.”
Augusto Farfus, Jens Klingmann and Bruno Spengler shared testing duties in the M4.
“I am thrilled to be involved in the development of the BMW M4 GT3 EVO right from the beginning,” Spengler said. “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.”