BMW are currently working on the new M8 GTE that they are hoping to enter into next years World Endurance Championship and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Progress on the new GTE car sees BMW looking to enter it in its maiden race for the 2018 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.
The first track test for the M8 GTE came last month around Lausitz with a secondary test adding more miles of data to the prototype around Barcelona in the hands of Nick Catsburg, Martin Tomczyk, Bruno Spengler and Phillipp Eng.
Being “honoured” to have been chosen to test the new M8 GTE, Catsburg hopes that he has done enough to earn himself a race seat when the car starts its racing career in 2018. Catsburg currently splits his time with his BMW GT commitments and racing full season for Volvo in the World Touring Car Championship.
“BMW has a large group of competitive drivers and it’s an honour that they gave me this opportunity, to be one of the first to drive the car,” Catsburg said to Motorsport.com “I really hope that I will be given the opportunity [to race]. It was amazing that BMW gave me this opportunity [to test], to be able to do development work in such an early stage.
“It’s a very cool project and it’s impressive to see how many people from BMW are dedicated to it. It’s fun to be part of and car is absolutely promising.”
After completing his tests in the M8 GTE, Catsburg could instant see distinct differences between GT3 cars and the GTE spec. Having raced at Daytona and Sebring this year in the M6 GTLM for the IMSA rounds earlier this year the differences were quite substantial.
“When you compare the GTE with the GT3 there are major differences,” he commented. “On every aspect, the car is made for GTE while the M6 GT3 is a customer project.
“That’s also a great car to drive, but the GTE is being developed for works drivers and I think as a driver you will notice the difference.”