BMW Motorsport will compete in the 2018/2019 Super Season of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) in the LMGTE Pro class. The German marque is pursuing the development of its M8 GTE with, among other things, a 24-hour test in preliminary preparations for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The 24-hour testing session took place at the Circuit Paul Ricard in the south of France. Four drivers were on-site to take turns at the wheel of the BMW M8 GTE: German driver Martin Tomczyk (2011 DTM champion), Portuguese native Antonio Felix da Costa, Austrian driver Philipp Eng and Brit Alexander Sims. The last two have participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans once and won the 2016 24 Hours of Spa representing the German manufacturer.
The staff of BMW Motorsport spent three days at the French track. The first day was reserved for performance testing then the other two for the 24-hour test. The development of the BMW M8 GTE will now continue. The car will then debut in competition at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, and will be entered in the LMGTE Pro class of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) for the first race of the season on May 5, 2018 at the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director: “This 24-hour endurance test marks another important step in the preparation of the new BMW M8 GTE. This test confirmed that our development of the car is on track. We have seen that we can complete a marathon test without any major issues. Of course, when developing a new race car there are always areas with a little more room for improvement. Our engineers will now work hard on those in Munich, and during the tests in the USA. Overall, we are pleased with what we have achieved so far and we can hardly wait to experience the BMW M8 GTE in its first race at Daytona in January."
Ferrari, Aston Martin, Ford and Porsche are now on notice. They will face a serious adversary for both next season's six-hour races as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans June 16-17, 2018.
Quotation and photo from BMW press release.