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Wittmann: Combining BMW WEC drive with DTM would be "cool"

Marco Wittmann hopes he will be able to combine his existing duties in the DTM with BMW’s factory LMDh programme in the World Endurance Championship from 2024.

Connor De Phillippi, Marco Wittmann, BMW M Team RLL BMW M Hybrid V8

Andreas Beil

Wittmann has been a stalwart of BMW in the DTM since 2013 and won the championship twice in his first four seasons in the category, making him one of the most successful drivers in the series’ history. 

BMW is returning to the top echelon of sportscar racing next year in the IMSA SportsCar Championship, but two-time DTM champion Wittmann will not be a part of the full-time line-up, instead only competing in the Daytona 24 Hours and the Sebring 12 Hours enduros that mark the start of the season.

But all options remain open for 2024 when the German manufacturer will expand its LMDh programme to the WEC in partnership with WRT, making up to six factory seats available to drivers.

It is likely that drivers known to WRT will be in contention for these, with Rene Rast switching from Audi to BMW and expected to be joined by the team's reigning GT World Challenge Sprint Cup champions Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts, after the former announced that his FIA Motorsport Games outing would be his last for Audi.

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However Wittmann said he would like to drive the BMW M Hybrid V8 in the WEC in 2024, especially as the series is likely to be more compatible than IMSA with his schedule in the DTM. 

“On my to-do-list there is still Le Mans, so I will not hide this,” the 32-year-old told Autosport.

“Definitely Le Mans is on my list. I haven't raced there yet but it would definitely be cool. 

“It's still quite some time till 2024 obviously. We are not in discussions yet about this topic, but would be a cool programme to do so.

“I think also you could combine WEC and DTM maybe together with both calendars if there are no clashes, while IMSA is a bit more tricky with the 12 races they have and the travel as well."

Marco Wittmann, Walkenhorst Motorsport

Marco Wittmann, Walkenhorst Motorsport

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

Despite not being able to add a third DTM title to his tally since his last success in 2016, Wittmann has remained a frontrunner for the most part, scoring his 18th career victory in the Hockenheim season finale.

While having ambitions of fighting for outright wins at Le Mans with BMW, Wittmann has also expressed a desire to remain in the DTM in the near future.

“My home is in the DTM,” said the German driver. “I really like DTM because I have all the fans, the support here, and also my merchandise sale. 

“I've built up quite a platform here, so I need to really think about what makes sense for myself in the future and which racing championships I want to participate in. 

“It's really hard to say what is going to happen in 2024. 

“At the moment I just look into 2023. There I have a few options and a few wishes as well at BMW Motorsport, let's see if they can make my wishes [come] true.”

Wittmann has tested the BMW LMDh car twice so far, with an opening run in Barcelona followed by a second outing at Road Atlanta.

Asked to explain how the BMW M Hybrid V8 is like to drive, Wittmann said: “The car is cool. It's finally a car back with downforce, with a lot of power, a car without ABS, which is a proper race car obviously. 

“It's good fun and it's always a great feeling to be involved in the development, to be in a project, to build up, which is difficult and challenging because it's a very short time until Daytona 2023.

“But it's very interesting. It's good fun, the car is cool to drive. A very cool project.”

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