It’s been announced that the new BMW M Hybrid V8 LMDh is coming to iRacing for 2023, as the first car from the new motorsport class to be available for sim racing.
The Le Mans Daytona h (LMDh) is the sports prototype class for IMSA and World Endurance for the coming seasons, and the BMW M Hybrid V8 is due to debut in the 24 Hours of Daytona in January 2023. So with the virtual version arriving around the same time, the German manufacturer has been helping iRacing to develop the car in the physical and digital world at the same time, in a similar fashion to the BMW M4 GT3. The two companies have also worked together on the BMW M8 GTE and BMW M4 GT4.
“When it comes to introducing real BMW M race cars to the virtual world, BMW M Motorsport and iRacing have been close and perfectly attuned partners for many years,” said Maurizio Leschiutta, LMDh project leader at BMW M Motorsport. “As the head of such an important project, confidentiality is my number one priority; it would be fatal if the competition discovered the technical details of our car that we want to keep secret. In that respect, I came away really impressed by iRacing’s professionalism. We are making CAD data and findings from our simulator and racetrack tests available to iRacing. They are used as the basis on which to create a realistic virtual version. This gives every sim racer the opportunity to experience the performance of a state-of-the-art prototype and the appeal of BMW M Motorsport.”
While the announcement and press releases talk about a release for 2023, there has also been mention of the car arriving in December 2022. That’s probably down to the fact that the first season of the year in iRacing typically arrives just before Christmas, with new cars and circuits generally being available for the fun ‘Week 13’ period of player testing before the serious official racing begins again.
The BMW M Hybrid V8 is powered by a P66/3 eight cylinder 3999cc twin turbo engine based on the DTM unit used in the past, supplemented by electric drive, and then fitted into a Dallara chassis. Which translates into a regulated power output of around 640 horsepower, and around 650 Nm of torque. Drivers for the car so far include Sheldon van Der Linde and Marco Wittmann for the IMSA races at the 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring, along with Colton Herta at Daytona. Meanwhile the regular drivers for the 2023 IMSA season will be Phillipp Eng, Connor De Phillippi, Augusto Farfar and Nick Yelloly.
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