BMW has returned to the world-famous Circuit de la Sarthe in France, where the pair of BMW Team MTEK M8 GTEs have successfully completed testing for the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans. On Sunday’s one-day test, the number 81 and 82 cars covered a total of 1,200 kilometres to run through the team’s extensive pre-event preparation plan.
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Four BMW works drivers – Nick Catsburg (NED), António Félix da Costa (POR), Alexander Sims (GBR) and Martin Tomczyk (GER) – were on duty over the course of the nine-hour test, while 24 Hours of Le Mans team-mates Augusto Farfus (BRA) and Phillip Eng (AUT) were competing in the third DTM event of the 2018 season.
Ernest Knoors (Team Principal, BMW Team MTEK):
“It’s good to get our first kilometres of Le Mans under our belt. The cars ran pretty much trouble-free, apart from some minor issues that we can resolve before race week. We completed 1,200 kilometres and gathered some good info, especially tyre-wise as the track evolves. We have more work to do but I’m pleased with today’s test.”
Martin Tomczyk (#81 BMW M8 GTE):
“MISSION8 has finally reached Le Mans, after 18 months of hard work and preparation, and it did not disappoint. It’s my first time at Le Mans and the track really is something special. Around eighty percent is closed public road and, although there are not many corners, you have to always remain focussed because there is so much traffic. The competition is really tight so I can’t wait to come back and compete in less than two weeks.”
Nick Catsburg (#81 BMW M8 GTE):
“It was a proud moment to leave the garage this morning and complete the BMW M8 GTE’s first laps of Le Mans – it feels like we really entered the history books. Hopefully, this will be the start of a really exciting and successful chapter that sees us challenge for results here at the biggest endurance race in the world.”
António Félix da Costa (#82 BMW M8 GTE):
“Everyone talks about the amazing atmosphere at Le Mans and it’s true. It’s not even race week but you can feel it. The car ran really well for the full test and we managed to run through our entire test programme, so we go into the race week in the best position possible.”
Alexander Sims (#82 BMW M8 GTE):
“I have good experience in the BMW M8 GTE, having completed in endurance races in the USA, and it felt very good here today. I think we go into the race week with some good data and having made progress with our set-up and we’re all looking forward to coming back next week.”