Sunday, July 14, 2024

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BMW rules out the usage of evo jokers within the LMDh automobile before the tip of 2024

BMW has no plans to make use of evo jokers in its LMDh automobile before the tip of the World Endurance Championship and IMSA SportsCar Championship seasons, says motorsport boss Andreas Roos.

The BMW M8 Hybrid V8 is currently in its second 12 months of operation after debuting on the 24 Hours of Daytona in January 2023 alongside other LMDh competitors reminiscent of Cadillac, Acura and Porsche.

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However, the Dallara LMP2 rider has only had limited success in IMSA thus far, with last 12 months's Watkins Glen round being the one event where he claimed victory in the brand new GTP class.

Meanwhile, the Bavarian marque’s WEC program with WRT continues to be in its infancy and has expanded into the world championship in early 2024 after putting all its resources into an IMSA project with Rahal Letterman Lanigan last 12 months.

All manufacturers are allowed to make use of a maximum of 5 development jokers over the lifetime of an LMDh or LMH automobile, which may be used to update performance as equipment changes.

Peugeot became the primary manufacturer to make the most of the system and introduced an updated version of the 9X8 LMH at Imola in April, while Porsche also got here near upgrading the engine of its 963, which might “probably” count as certainly one of its jokers.

However, speaking ahead of this month's 24 Hours of Le Mans, where no BMW was classified, Roos made it clear that the M Hybrid V8 would survive the season in its current specification.

When asked if there are plans to take the joker in 2024, he replied: “No, not in the mean time.

Andreas Roos, Head of BMW Motorsport M

Andreas Roos, Head of BMW Motorsport M

Photo: BMW

“We are definitely exploring and seeing where we could improve or where you think that we could improve.

“But there's nothing happening right away to point that we’d like a joker for this or that.

“We will certainly check now, especially with our first 24-hour race behind us, if there are areas where we feel we’d like to do something.

“But overall I still think the cars are pretty close together.”

Roos also believes that introducing regular improvements could make it harder for regulators to develop an accurate balance of performance system since it relies on course data to equalise the speeds of various cars.

“There is a BoP behind which should be able to bring the cars even closer together and this approach should require rebalancing the field,” he said.

“If everyone seems to be going to make use of jokers and develop the automobile, then to begin with it’s an expensive thing and it also makes it difficult to get the BoP in the appropriate window again because you then start all all over again.

“We all also see in other championships that so long as the cars and every little thing are reasonably stable, it's much easier to bring the cars in and get them in the identical window.

“So we clearly need to look at whether there are topics where we can say, 'OK, this is a topic you really need to look at and maybe use a joke,' or whether there are other ways, let's say, to even it out.”

#24 BMW RLL Team BMW M Hybrid V8: Jesse Krohn, Philipp Eng.

#24 BMW RLL Team BMW M Hybrid V8: Jesse Krohn, Philipp Eng

Photo: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport images

Pressed further on whether there could be any Joker improvements by the tip of the 12 months, he said: “No, nothing is planned at the moment.”

Roos has previously spoken about the opportunity of BMW introducing a 3rd automobile at next 12 months's Le Mans race, with the extra entry more likely to be handled by its IMSA partner RLL.

Porsche and Cadillac have already used their North American crews to field three cars at Le Mans in 2023 and 2024, giving them a numerical advantage over rival manufacturers.

Roos still believes in the advantages of a wider presence in La Sarthe, but reiterated that it must make sense from an operational viewpoint.

“I've at all times said it's nice to have three cars at Le Mans because I've often said prior to now that one automobile has technical problems, the second has a crash and the third wins. But we’ve to see it,” he said.

“It's at all times nice to have more cars on the grid, but it surely also needs to be completely consistent by way of the best way we drive.

“It's not just about getting the car on the grid if we want to do that and if we want to have a competitive third car on the grid.”

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