Nine-time motorcycling world champion and current BMW M works driver Valentino Rossi has announced that he will contest a full season in the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship. The 44-year-old Italian pilot will join the driver line-up of the Team WRT squad in the championship’s new LMGT3 category, driving the BMW M4 GT3.
Rossi focused on racing sportscars in 2022 when he joined Vincent Vosse’s Team WRT to compete in the GT World Challenge Europe. Partnering Frédéric Vervisch and Nico Müller, Rossi went on to finish 21st in the drivers standings. In 2023, Rossi finished sixth in the drivers standings alongside teammate Maxime Martin in a season that yielded his first GT World Challenge victory at Misano.
“It is the next step for me to participate in a world championship, not only in Europe but to race globally again,” said Rossi. “I am already familiar with the car after this season, but the format with three drivers from different performance categories will be new to me.
“Overall, I believe we will be well positioned.”
Andreas Roos, BMW’s Head of Motorsport, added: “Valentino Rossi made a string debut at Le Mans this season, winning immediately in the BMW M4 GT3. Overall, his first season as a BMW M works driver has been very impressive. I am convinced that he will play an important role and be a big crowd favourite in the FIA WEC. Augusto Farfus, with his experience and driving skill, will be a crucial pillar for the LMGT3 programme.”
The 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship gets underway with the Official Prologue on February 24– 25 with the opening race of the eight-round championship taking pace at Qatar on March 2 2024.