BMW May Scale Back IMSA GTLM Program to the Four Endurance Races in 2021

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BMW May Scale Back IMSA GTLM Program to the Four Endurance Races in 2021


Will Corvette Racing be the only full-time GTLM team in IMSA for 2021? That unfortunate scenario might happen if the rumors about BMW Motorsport’s future racing plans are true.

Autosport.com is reporting that BMW Motorsports, which already terminated their WEC GTE-Pro teams last year, may be looking to limit their participation in North America to just the four IMSA races that make up the Michelin Endurance Cup: The Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Six Hours at Watkins Glen, and the 10-Hour Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.

Earlier this year, Porsche announced its withdraw of the IMSA WeatherTech Championship which would leave Corvette Racing’s two C8.Rs racing against Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and their two M8 GTEs. However, outgoing BMW Motorsports chief Jens Marquardt seemed to throw cold water on that idea suggesting there was no interest in a two-way battle against the factory Corvette team. Autosport reports that when asked about 2021, Marquardt responded, “I cannot not rule it out, but obviously it is something we are discussing at the moment with our colleagues in the US.

Marquardt says that COVID has impacted their racing budgets as well, citing the reason Porsche gave when making their announcement. He adds, “And we need to see how the set-up is next year, is it just Corvette and us running there or are there other competitors, the overall package, and then make a decision on that. I know that Daytona is just around the corner, so we are already in November, end of January is right here.

BWM has two wins for the year which came at two of the endurance races. They won the Rolex 24 in January (for the second consecutive year), and then picked up their second win at the rescheduled six-hour race at Road Atlanta in September.

Meanwhile, Corvette Racing and No.3 C8.R team of Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor have already won the 2020’s GTLM Drivers and Team Championships, and Chevrolet will secure the sweep with the Manufacturer Championship at the start of this weekend’s 12 Hours of Sebring.


Source:
Autsport.com

Related:
Garcia, Taylor, No. 3 Corvette C8.R Clinch GT Le Mans Championships
Chevrolet Salutes Oliver Gavin as He Concludes Full-Time Role with Corvette Racing
Porsche to Pull Out of the IMSA WeatherTech Series at the End of 2020

 



7 COMMENTS

  1. Race on Sunday, sell on Monday…back in the day. Really sad to see the teams all fading away, Ford, Porsche, BMW, so will Corvette Racing field a very expensive team next year to run against the clock?

  2. If all of the other competitors bail on GTLM, should Chevy just save a ton of money and run GTD? Y’all feel free to educate me here.

  3. I heard that the WeatherTech Ferrari could be moving up to GTLM next year. Also there have been talks with Aston Martin but nothing confirmed. Keep your fingers crossed.

  4. @ Dave+Chuck. its was a sad moment in history when GT1 class died. it took me a while to accept GTLM which is GT2 in power band. GTD no thanks, will not follow that.

    Be smarter for the industry to start a New Series called GT Hybrid AWD: 500hp Gas engine and 300 hp electric motor(s), with regenerative braking. Cars would weigh 1000 lbs more but acceleration be very impressive. Carbon-ceramic brakes mandatory.
    Porsche+ Ferrari already have the tech developed. i’m sure BMW and GM are refining it. Endurance Racing with competitors IS the Fastest way to validate technology.

    To bring development Costs Down, The Manufacturers should Share resources: like Renting a track site together, Fuel delivery, tents as cafeterias, food catering etc..
    Since the teams all respect each other for their passion, they may go further in supporting each other in terms of off the shelf parts if one team runs out by accident.

  5. Mike,
    Everything you mention would be interesting to watch from a tech standpoint. But for the average RACING FAN, they want to see their current street version brand do battle on the track. GTD is as close as we have. DPi is interesting to watch, but most fans only recognize the sound of the Cadillac’s (Chevy) V8. In all reality though, if Ford and Chevy put much of an effort towards GTD, they would probably stink up that show also. (Do you remember when Chevy won all of the races’84 to’86 and then were banned from the series?). Domestic racing technology runs very deep. The only way to bring all brands back in was to develop BoP. I’m now wondering if the other brands don’t have enough faith in BoP to be able to run with the C8.R ???

  6. Imagine most of the resources are now being focused on the EV development, so the millions being spent on ICE racing is probably considered a major waste in the boardroom discussions of most manufacturers, including GM. Just a matter of time now…you will buzz around in your electric sports car, but with a tap on the display or voice command, you will be able listen to racey sounds on the sound system. Whee.

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