The WRT BMW team has confirmed that the Italian will again compete in the GTWCE in what will be a third full season of car racing after his retirement from two wheels at the end of 2021.
But the Belgian squad has declined to reveal how many of the 10 GTWCE races Rossi, 44, will contest at the wheel of a BMW M4 GT3 alongside his participation in the eight WEC rounds, which include the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.
The extension of the motorcycle racing legend’s programme will be announced at the end of next week when WRT launches its GT programmes with the M4 in the WEC’s new LMGT3 class and across the Endurance and Sprint Cup legs of the GTWCE.
Team boss Vincent Vosse, whose operation will also field the factory BMW M Hybrid V8 LMDhs in the WEC this year, told Motorsport.com that Rossi’s 2024 programme “will not just be the WEC – there will be more races”.
Rossi has already been announced as part of WRT’s line-up for next month’s Bathurst 12 Hours, the opening round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, but Vosse stressed that his appearances outside of the WEC in 2024 will be “more than just that”.
There are no clashes between the WEC and GTWCE this season, which would allow Rossi to contest both segments of the Stephane Ratel Organisation-run series for a third consecutive season. But that prospect was played down by Vosse.
“In theory he could do all the races, but at the moment that is not the plan,” he said, while refusing to divulge whether Rossi’s GTWCE campaign would be centred on the five enduros rounds.
An appearance at the blue riband Spa 24 Hours round at the end of June looks like a certainly, however.
Photo by: AG Photo
#46 Team WRT, BMW M4 GT3: Valentino Rossi, Augusto Farfus, Maxime Martin
It appears that new BMW signing Raffaele Marciello, who will be part of the LMDh WEC line-up in the Hypercar class, will be teamed with Rossi for at least some of his GTWCE appearances, Spa included.
Marciello has already been confirmed to drive with Rossi and Maxime Martin at Bathurst on February 18 in what will be his first race outing for BMW after his recruitment from Mercedes via Lamborghini, with which he was briefly under contract for 2024.
WRT will announce the driver combinations for its two WEC LMGT3 entries next week.
So far only Rossi and long-time BMW factory driver Augusto Farfus have been confirmed: they were listed against the two M4s on the publication of the 2024 WEC entry list the end of November.