Valentino Rossi to race in WEC with BMW

Nine-time motorcycle grand prix world champion Valentino Rossi has been confirmed for a full-season FIA World Endurance Championship LMGT3 drive in a Team WRT BMW M4 GT3 for 2024.

The Italian MotoGP legend joins the WEC fresh from taking part in the post-season rookie test in Bahrain with WRT earlier this month. Confirmation came when he was named on the provisional series entry list that was released this morning.

“I am very excited to compete in the FIA WEC,” said Rossi, who enjoyed a hugely successful campaign with WRT in World Challenge Europe this season and will drive the No. 46 M4 GT3 in ’24.


“It is the next step for me to participate in a world championship, not only in Europe but to race globally again. I am already familiar with the car after this season, but the format with three drivers from three different performance categories will be new for me. Overall, I believe we will be very well positioned.”

WRT’s team principal Vincent Vosse was also delighted to share the news of “The Doctor” joining the team for its WEC campaign this morning.

“Starting with Valentino Rossi in the FIA WEC is something truly special. We talked about this at our very first meetings. Now, this circle is closing, and it feels like we’ve already ticked most of the boxes we discussed back then.”

Vosse went on to describe WRT’s four-car FIA WEC effort for 2024 with BMW as a “privilege” for the Belgian team. In addition to running a pair of M4 GT3s in LMGT3, the team has also been selected by BMW to run the pair of M Hybrid V8 LMDh prototypes in the Hypercar class.

“What a privilege for us as a team to be able to field both two BMW M Hybrid V8s and two BMW M4 GT3s for BMW M Motorsport in the FIA WEC!” he said.

“While we have two separate crews for the two projects, it will still be a significant challenge for WRT. But we love challenges! The drivers who will be working with us, we already know very well from previous joint racing commitments.”

In addition to Rossi being listed on the WEC entry, three other drivers have been confirmed for next season. Dries Vanthoor and Sheldon van der Linde will race for WRT in Hypercar, while Brazillian racer Augusto Farfus is the first driver signed to steer the No. 31 M4 GT3.

“With the confirmation of our team for the Hypercar and LMGT3 classes, as well as the initial drivers, our comeback in the FIA WEC takes another important step,” said Andreas Roos, the head of BMW M Motorsport.

“BMW M Team WRT is among the best teams globally in both the prototype and GT3 segments. For sporting and logistical reasons, Vincent Vosse’s team was the logical choice to field both the BMW M Hybrid V8 and the BMW M4 GT3.

“The BMW M works drivers we have nominated possess the necessary driving skills and experience. Sheldon van der Linde is already familiar with the BMW M Hybrid V8, and Dries Vanthoor made a strong impression during test drives. Additionally, he has previously competed at Le Mans in an LMP2 prototype. Valentino Rossi made a strong debut at Le Mans this season, winning immediately in the BMW M4 GT3 (in the Road to Le Mans support race).

“Overall, his first season as a BMW M works driver has been very impressive. I am convinced that he will play an important role and be a crowd favorite in the FIA WEC. Augusto Farfus, with his experience and driving skill, will be a crucial pillar for the LMGT3 program.”

Story originally appeared on Racer