The successful collaboration between BMW M Motorsport and the leading simulation platform iRacing enters the next round in 2023. BMW M Motorsport is set to become the first manufacturer in the world to make its new LMDh car, the BMW M Hybrid V8, available to the sim racing community. As with the BMW M4 GT3, real and virtual development of the car run synchronously. The collaboration was officially announced at the BMW SIM Live event on Saturday.
“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.”
“We’re incredibly excited to confirm that the BMW M Hybrid V8 will be coming to iRacing in the coming months,” said iRacing executive vice president Steve Myers. “We’ve been eagerly anticipating the LMDh class for a few years now, and BMW M Motorsport’s support has been indispensable in helping us to bring both their entry and the new class to iRacing. Building this car in the sim has been a joy for our team, and we can’t wait to see the community’s response upon release.”
BMW M Motorsport and iRacing have already worked hand in hand on multiple car projects. The BMW M8 GTE was also transferred from reality to the virtual world, as were the BMW M4 GT4 and the BMW M4 GT3 later. The LMDh project now offers the next opportunity to bring a car on the racetrack in two worlds.
The race premiere of the BMW M Hybrid V8 at the 24 Hours of Daytona in January 2023 moves closer. The car is currently undergoing intensive testing in the USA. While the car has a special camouflage livery for the tests, the BMW M Hybrid V8 will have a works design in the iconic BMW M Motorsport colours from the start of next year. It was revealed in Los Angeles in September 2022, and can now also be seen on the virtual version of the car.