The Bavarian manufacturer announced Monday that the 25-year-old IndyCar star will join Dirk Mueller, John Edwards and Dirk Werner at the wheel of the No. 56 BMW Z4 GTE in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season-opener.
It will mark Rahal’s first start for the factory squad, which is run by his father, Bobby.
“It’s cool for me to obviously to be here and get this opportunity," he told Sportscar365 at the Roar Before the Rolex 24. “I was a [BMW] junior driver in ’04 so I’ve certainly had a lot of connections with BMW over the years.
“We’ve been trying to do this for a long time. We were trying to put a deal together to drive the M3 for years and it never kind of worked out. To get this opportunity is fun for me. It’s a cool, little car."
The team’s second Z4 GTE entry, meanwhile, will be driven by the new season-long pairing of Bill Auberlen and Andy Priaulx, plus Maxime Martin and Joey Hand.
BMW’s two-car assault is among the 12 entries set to take part in the GT Le Mans class, which will run to full ACO GTE specification in the TUDOR Championship this year.