Two days after positing an initial stylized image of the 2018 M8 on Twitter, BMW has published the first photos of the car, with a modernized camouflage livery, in testing at the Lausitzring where the German manufacturer conducted a three-day battery of tests.
Last December, BMW announced its plans to return to endurance racing, in the LMGTE Pro class, in 2018. The running of the car will be entrusted to BMW Team MTEK, a competitor in DTM, the German touring car championship, since 2013.
The team founded by Ernest Knoors has been absent from the German racing scene this year in order to focus on the development of the GTE program. Efforts went into high gear on July 1st with the M8's first laps at the factory's home track in Dingolfing, Bavaria.
The car and its drivers, Martin Tomczyk and Maxime Martin, then headed for the Lausitzring for a three-day testing session dedicated specifically to safety, as explained by BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt: "To see the BMW M8 GTE on the racetrack makes me very proud. Everyone involved has done a magnificent job in recent months to allow us to reach this milestone in the development of our new flagship for the GT racing scene. In the first instance, the purpose of a test like this is obviously to get to know the car. In this regard, greater emphasis is placed on the safety aspect than performance. However, the first impression of the BMW M8 GTE out on the track is a very positive one."
The BMW M8 GTE will take part in the World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) and the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year, but will first make its debut in competition in late January at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, then is set to replace the M6 currently entered in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship by the RLL team.
Quotation from BMW press release.
PHOTO (Copyright - Andreas Beil/BMW): The BMW M8 GTE in action at the Lausitzring.