The 2023 IMSA season begins on Friday, January 27th with the four-hour BMW M Endurance Challenge At Daytona, followed by the 61st Rolex 24 At Daytona over the weekend where BMW of North America Customer Racing teams will be well-represented throughout the Daytona International Speedway paddock.
For more than ten years, BMW of North America has presented the opening round of the Michelin Pilot Challenge Championship which kicks-off the IMSA season. This year, the BMW M Endurance Challenge At Daytona and the VP Racing Sportscar Challenge also see the debut of the latest BMW M4 GT4 racing car. Testing since October of 2021, the second generation (G82) BMW M4 GT4 racing car made a successful debut with BMW M Customer Racing teams at this past weekend’s new-for-2023 VP Racing Sportscar Challenge at the ROAR. Two new BMW M4 GT4 machines and three previous generation machines competed in the opening two rounds with entries from Auto Technic and Stephen Cameron Racing running the new cars. Turner Motorsport (2) and Split Decision Motorsports raced the previous generation M4s. Rob Walker drove the No. 25 Auto Technic BMW M4 GT4 to a third-place finish in both rounds to be the best BMW-finisher of the weekend and give the all-new BMW GT4 machine an excellent US debut.
The M Endurance Challenge At Daytona will see new M4 GT4 entries from Turner Motorsport (2), Auto Technic (1), Stephen Cameron Racing (1), and Fast Track Racing (1).
The Rolex 24 At Daytona will see five BMW entries this year. In addition to the long-awaited first race for the BMW M Team RLL BMW M Hybrid V8, three BMW M4 GT3 will compete: two Turner Motorsport cars, one in GTD Pro and one in GTD and one GTD entry from Paul Miller Racing, last year’s GTD class Sprint Cup champions.
“BMW of North America’s Customer Racing program continues to grow stronger,” said Dan Lubin, BMW NA Motorsport Manager. “2023 is shaping up to be the best year yet. We look forward to cheering on even more BMW teams.”
BMW of North America will also welcome Robby Foley to his first weekend as a contracted BMW driver. Well-known to Turner Motorsport fans, 26-year-old Foley has co-driven to many BMW victories and has more than earned the honor of joining the BMW driver ranks.
“What an honor and privilege to officially be contracted as a BMW driver,” stated Foley. “My journey with the brand began in 2018, with a few races for Turner Motorsport, which then transitioned into four full season campaigns. To see it come full circle is a childhood dream come true and I am extremely grateful for the trust that Victor Leleu and Dan Lubin from BMW NA have placed in me. This wouldn’t have been possible without the support and help of many people, including Will Turner and my full-season teammates Vin (Barletta), Michael (Dinan) and Bill (Auberlen). I can’t wait to kick the year off at Daytona.”
Of course, no BMW effort would be the same if it did not have Bill Auberlen behind the wheel. The all-time IMSA win leader is also part of this year’s Turner Motorsport program and will be joined at the Michelin Endurance Cup events by John Edwards, and by Bruno Spengler at Daytona.
While most eyes will be on the action on the speedway, BMW of North America will have more on display in the Daytona paddock. On Friday, January 27th, a new BMW M model will make its worldwide debut. On Saturday January 28th the all-new BMW XM power hybrid vehicle will be one of IMSA Safety Cars for the Rolex 24. This exciting new vehicle shares its drive concept with the newly developed BMW M Hybrid V8 racing car and combines a powerful turbocharged eight-cylinder internal combustion engine (ICE) with an electric motor for a total of 644hp. The new BMW XM goes on sale in March 2023.