BMW Considering LMP1 Program in 2017

According to reports in the German publication Auto Motor und Sport, BMW looks to be evaluating a possible LMP1 program for the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship season, with BMW Motorsport personnel having been seen at both WEC events so far this season.

BMW won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1999 with its V12 LMR. Since its withdrawal from Formula One in 2009, it has been focusing on the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters as well as various GT series such as Blancpain and Tudor United SportsCar Championship.

It is likely that an important factor in this decision would be the 2017 LMP1 regulations. Having launched its “i” electric road car range over the last couple of years, BMW would be interested in a prototype effort if the electric technology was a major part of the car.

“If you take BMW as a global brand we are not a slow follower or a fast follower, we are setting new paths, which we have shown with ‘i’ so I don’t think we need to follow what everyone does,” BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt told Auto Motor und Sport.

Elsewhere in BMW’s sportscar racing efforts, the Z4 GT3 will be replaced by the new M6 GT3 for the 2016 season, with the manufacturer currently solely focusing on its GT and touring car championships.