Le Mans GTE Preview: BMW

June 9, 2018

Le Mans GTE Preview: BMW

June 9, 2018

Michelin will have all 30 cars in the two GTE classes at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. Michelin Racing USA will take a look at all six manufacturers entered and their lineups. Here is a look at BMW, which has two cars in GTE-Pro.

BMW TEAM MTEK

Quick overview: BMW highlights the launch of its new M8 Coupe for the road alongside its new M8 GTE race car in 2018. This marks BMW’s return to Le Mans for the first time since 2011, when it raced the M3. That was only a two-year project, and it’s been a full seven years that have passed since BMW last raced here.

Among BMW’s six drivers, only three have made Le Mans race starts. Augusto Farfus has two with BMW in 2010 and 2011, while Alexander Sims (2013, Lola LMP2) and Philipp Eng (2016, Proton Porsche) have one start apiece. Martin Tomczyk, Antonio Felix da Costa and Nick Catsburg are Le Mans rookies. However, that trio has achieved a wealth of success in DTM, touring cars, other GT cars and some formula cars.

Changes from 2017: BMW’s last generation GTE-spec car was the M6, which like the Z4 never raced at Le Mans. With the M8, BMW has a fresh start.

Test day recap: BMW was middle of the pack in GTE-Pro. Its No. 81 car driven by Tomczyk and Catsburg finished in eighth, while the No. 82 car was 15th.

Quotes of note: Here is a quick quote from Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director:

“The roots of the GTE project lie in a combination of many aspects. The possible return to Le Mans brought its own fascination for our team. We were given a green light from the board to develop a thoroughbred GTE racing car, parallel with the colleagues in production development.”

2018 LINEUP

81 Martin Tomczyk/Nick Catsburg/Philipp Eng
82 Antonio Felix da Costa/Augusto Farfus/Alexander Sims

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