Jens Marquardt, BMW‘s motorsport boss, has stated that the development for the new BMW M8 GTE that will take part in the World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year is ‘on target’.
The V8-powered contender was officially unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show last week after announcing that they would be joining the LM GTE Pro class at the end of May before the WEC’s prestigous 24 Hours of Le Mans. The car has already had multiple tests since rolling out at the beginning of July and is developing on target.
“We can say that we are on target at this point in terms of the objectives that we have set ourselves,” Marquardt told Autosport. “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 debut race of the M8 GTE is the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, 2018. This is the opening round next year’s IMSA SportsCar Championship, something that the car will also compete in.
There has been no confirmation on how many miles the M8 has done in the hands of the MTEK team who will race the car in the 2018/19 WEC ‘superseason’. However, Marquardt did confirm that the team had completed “five or six” tests in the new BMW.
The drivers behind the wheel of the M8 during these tests have come from their GT driver roster. Some of the drivers to have climbed aboard the car include 2011 DTM champion Martin Tomczyk, Maxime Martin and Nicky Catsburg. The development of the car is being lead by Tomczyk.
Attending the 6 Hours of COTA last weekend, Marquardt was keen to stress BMW’s support of the changes coming to the future of the WEC.
“The approach to have Le Mans at the end of the season is a good one. 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.”