BMW has confirmed it will leave the FIA World Endurance Championship following next month's 24 Hours of Le Mans, ending its involvement after just a single season.

BMW returned to the WEC for the 2018-19 'super season' with its new BMW M8 GTE car, which made its debut in the championship at last year's 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.

However, the German marque has struggled to compete with rivals Porsche, Ferrari, Aston Martin and Ford on a regular basis, scoring just two podium finishes through the seven rounds so far this season.

It had long been rumoured to be considering a closure of its WEC programme in order to focus on other racing activities, including Formula E, with confirmation arriving on Wednesday morning.

"The range of activities in BMW i Motorsport and BMW M Motorsport will remain broad in the future," a statement from BMW reads.

"With its involvement in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, BMW demonstrates its electrification expertise and its claim as technological leader with the BMW i brand.

"On the other hand, the dynamics and the performance of BMW M cars remain paramount in the DTM and in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

"As part of having a focus, BMW will bid farewell to the FIA World Endurance Championship at the end of the current ‘Super Season’. In customer racing, a new flagship for the GT3 category is in the works."

BMW motorsport director Jens Marquardt added: "We will not compete in WEC going forward. Therefore, the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June will be another highlight for us in drawing to a close – just like in 2018, when we celebrated the successful world premiere of the BMW 8 Series Coupe there.

"But in light of us sharpening our focus as part of our strategy for the future, continuing our WEC involvement in the coming years does not fit with our direction.

"The global presence of BMW M Motorsport is safeguarded by customer racing and the DTM in Asia and Europe, as well as the IMSA series in North America, even without competing in a world championship.

"We would like to thank BMW Team MTEK for its dedication over recent years and we wish WEC all the best and hope that it makes good progress.”

BMW joins Ford in departing the WEC's GTE-Pro class, leaving only Porsche, Ferrari and Aston Martin in place with factory programmes for the 2019/20 season.

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