New images have surfaced of BMW’s 2018 M8 GTE testing at the Lausitzring.
The M8 GTE will bring the historic German manufacturer back to the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time since 2011 partaking in next year’s FIA World Endurance Championship in the LMGTE class. On top of its Le Mans and WEC campaign the M8 will also be replacing its predecessor (The M6 GTLM) in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Factory drivers Martin Tomczyk and Maxime Martin who both drive the current era M6 for BMW Team RLL in the IMSA Championship, have shared the driving duties over the last three days at the Lausitzring.
“Firstly, I feel very honoured to have been able to drive at the first real test of the BMW M8 GTE on the racetrack,” said Tomczyk.
“I had great fun with the car. The BMW M8 GTE is good to drive from the outset, and it is easy for us drivers to work out the way it handles, which is important.
“We got a lot of kilometres under our belt, and gathered a lot of data. We also took our first steps with regard to performance, which is by no means a given at a first test.
“We will obviously work more intensively on that at the coming tests, and will build on the strong basis we established here at the Lausitzring.”
The new GTE Le Mans challenger is scheduled to make its race debut at the 2018 Daytona 24 Hours in January, and will endure more testing in Europe and North America in the coming months.
A rather enthusiastic BMW Motorsport Manager, Jens Marquard was also present at the test and said: “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.”
Personal reflection – Slade Perrins:
The car looks magnificent; I would go as far as to call it a work of art. The aero design has somewhat similar traits to Fords GTE car, although no audio has been released of the actual GTE car, critics are led to believe that it is either V8 or V12 sitting underneath the bonnet.
Short clips of the road going version have a deep growl sound with the signature high revving rasp that fans of the ‘M’ Brand are so a-custom to. It’s almost comparable to the sound of a Mercedes AMG GTS but that could just be the pre-production exhaust on the road car.
Overall I think BMW have come up with a very strong package, the M8’s aero development from the M6 is phenomenal and I think BMW have really hit the spot. In terms of R&D, it sounds like most boxes are ticked in the engine bay and Tomczyk and Martin have gathered some very valuable data over the last week.
All I can say is to all the other GTE manufacturers, watch out, BMW is back and back in a big way.
Photo’s by: BMW AG