The new BMW M8 GTE has completed more test drives at the setting for its race debut in January 2018: BMW Motorsport and BMW Team RLL were on the Daytona (USA) track this week as part of official testing for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC). This was the first time that the new GT flagship race car from BMW Motorsport had shared the circuit with its future North America competitors. The first competitive appearance for the BMW M8 GTE will be at the 24 Hours of Daytona on 27th/28th January.
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A private test had already taken place at Homestead (USA) last week ahead of official testing in Daytona. On both occasions, the car was supervised by BMW Team RLL, which will be competing next season with the new BMW M8 GTE in the IMSA series. John Edwards and Connor De Phillippi (both USA) shared driving duties. Martin Tomczyk (GER) was also in action at Homestead. At the tests, BMW Motorsport and the BMW Team RLL completed a comprehensive programme. This included further endurance tests for the latest developments in the areas of performance, aerodynamics and electronics.
BMW Motorsport looks back on intensive months. Over the course of just half a year since the first test in July, the car has been continually updated. The BMW engineers made gradual changes to the aerodynamics and worked on the front, the chassis and the cooling system. All components were made suitable for endurance driving and so BMW Motorsport was able to successfully complete a 24-hour distance last month. The feedback from the drivers helped to optimise the cockpit ergonomics.
Preparations are now hotting up as the new BMW M8 GTE approaches the 24 Hours of Daytona. The data gathered in the USA will be used to work on fine-tuning in Munich before more tests take place in the USA before Christmas. “The Roar before the 24 Hours”, the official IMSA preparatory test for the 24-hour race, is scheduled to take place in four weeks.
Reactions from the drivers after the test in Daytona.
John Edwards: “These were the first tests with the BMW M8 GTE here in the USA and it was also my first time driving the new car. It is exciting to be part of the development work. We went through a comprehensive list of tests. The team learned a lot about the new car and we can build on this to continue with our preparations for the season.”
Connor De Phillippi: “We were able to test a lot of different things and we made more progress with development. We still have to change things here and there, but we are headed in the right direction. This test was a good and important preparation for everything that awaits us in January.”