17-year-old Colton Herta has been named as BMW Team RLL Junior and Test and Reserve driver as he headed out on track for the first time in the #24 BMW M8 GTE.
The team was at Sebring International Raceway preparing at the official IMSA test ahead of the sixty-sixth 12 Hours of Sebring.
“Having never driven a GT car before, it was a day of firsts for me,” said Herta. “I really enjoyed the experience and felt that I fit right in.
“While I was expecting to sense the weight difference from the open wheel cars I currently race but what did take some laps to really understand was the braking.
“You sit in a different relationship to the tires so your sense of the force is much different. I had thought that a GT car’s grip would be less in the high speed corners, but there was a surprising amount of downforce.
“On a scale of one to 10, I’d say I’m at a seven. With two or three more sessions I believe I’d be ready to push.”
Herta knows the importance of the opportunity in front of him as he comments, “I know Ricky Collard and Beitske Visser (2018 BMW Juniors) so I realize I am in strong company.
“I am super excited to have this opportunity and ready to take advantage of everything offered.”
“BMW of North America welcomes another young American to the BMW Junior program and we are excited to be able to allow Colton to participate with BMW Team RLL,” commented Victor Leleu, BMW NA Motorsport Manager.
“His very first laps in the M8 GTE showed the potential BMW knew was there.”
With sixteen hours of track time over two days, Bill Auberlen, Connor DePhillippi and Alexander Sims got to work on the #25 M8, while John Edwards, Jesse Krohn and Herta shared the #24 M8.
Herta stepped in for Nicky Catsburg who couldn’t make the test.