What is your anticipated schedule for the LMDh project development phase?
Roos: “The development phase in the LMDh project – and we have to be open about this – is tense. It’s a tight schedule and our clearly stated objective is to be racing at Daytona in 2023. And we don’t just want to make an appearance, we want to be competitive. That means that we still have a few problems to solve together with our partner Dallara. After an intensive development phase, we now also have an intensive development programme on the racetrack to really probe and test the car. That means that we have some really busy days to look forward to, which will demand everything from our drivers, from our team, from BMW M Motorsport and from Dallara. However, you do notice that the spirit is there. Everyone is absolutely motivated and looking forward to the first rollout for the race car, and then of course to the first racing appearance.”
How challenging is LMDh with regard to the tight schedule, compared to some rivals and the fact that other manufacturers are having major problems?
Roos: “As I mentioned earlier, our schedule is very tight. Perhaps also because the decision to actually join the LMDh class was made relatively late. It is definitely a challenge. Of course, we would all prefer to have a bit more time, if I’m being absolutely honest, but we don’t have that luxury and we are working flat out. We have already noticed that one or two manufacturers may be having issues. Of course, I hope that they won’t overtake us. It’s clear that our planning does not allow for any errors before the first race. We can also be realistic about this. Things normally don’t always go smoothly and so one or two things will still come along. But, like I said, the team is highly motivated, that will work. Of course, there are some manufacturers that have gone one step further and have started on-track testing, for example. We simply have to catch up with that. However, our highly motivated people, our team, give me reason to be positive.”
What is the objective for the first LMDh season in 2023?
Roos: “We also have to be realistic here. There are plenty of good manufacturers competing, all of whom have shown in the past that they can develop racing cars. Our aspiration at BMW is also quite clear, we don't want to just be making up the numbers, we want to win races. However, it would be presumptuous to assert that we are so good that we can beat everyone right away, and that no-one else has a chance. Our aim is clearly to be challenging for wins and to be up at the front. A race season is long and hopefully we will have a say in the championship battle at the end of the year. But, of course, there are no guarantees in such a tough and hotly contested field.”