BMW says M8 GTE development is "on target"

Development of the BMW's new FIA World Endurance Championship contender, the M8 GTE, is "on target", according to the German manufacturer's motorsport boss Jens Marquardt. 

BMW says M8 GTE development is "on target"
BMW M8 GTE with BMW 8-series
BMW M8 GTE
Martin Tomczyk and Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director with BMW M8 GTE
Martin Tomczyk with BMW M8 GTE
BMW M8 GTE
Martin Tomczyk and Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director with BMW M8 GTE

The new V8-powered car, which was officially unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show in traditional BMW Motorsport colours last week, has now undertaken multiple tests since its roll-out on July 1, Marquardt confirmed. 

"We can say that we are on target at this point in terms of the objectives that we have set ourselves," he told Motorsport.com.

"It is a tight schedule, so there is not a lot of room for any delays, but everything is going according to plan.

"But I'm sure if you asked our engineers, they would say they would like another three months of development!"

The first race of the M8 GTE will be at the Daytona 24 Hours next January at he start of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, in which the new car will also compete.

Marquardt would not reveal how many miles the car has completed in the hands of the MTEK squad, which is heading development of the M8 ahead of a 2018/19 WEC campaign, but he revealed that the team had already undertaken "five or six tests".

Six of BMW's roster of GT drivers have so far driven the car, including former DTM champion Martin Tomczyk, Maxime Martin, Nicky Catsburg, Bruno Spengler and Phillipp Eng.

Marquardt, who attended last weekend's Austin WEC round, stressed that BMW is supportive of the changes to the series made in the wake of Porsche exiting the LMP1 class.

"The approach to have Le Mans at the end of he season is a good one," he said, referring to the WEC's new 'superseason' 2018/19 calendar.

"To only have one race before our Le Mans return next year will be a challenge, but the transition season was always going to be a compromise."

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Author Gary Watkins
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