In the closing stages of the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans, a tough race for the BMW Team MTEK got worse when the #82, driven by Alexander Sims lost control through the Porsche Curves, running through the gravel, tapping the inside wall and spinning out the other side to hit the barrier on the outside of the track.
The incident, which occurred at 6:30am local time cut the race short for the #82, for although Sims limped back to the pits, the majority of the damage had already been done to the rear of his BMW M8 GTE.
“The spin was totally unexpected.” said Sims. “I didn’t feel anything before I spun. I don’t know if there were fluids on the track, as other cars went off there as well. It is such a shame for everybody in the team who have worked so hard. The pace of the car was definitely good.”
A damper failure that affected both GTE Pro cars would lose them time on the leaders during the early stages as it was a difficult return to this level of endurance racing.
This has been BMW’s first FIA World Endurance Championship entry since the series inception and had been running as high as second in a race that was dominated by the Porsche GT Team.
Fellow #82 drivers Antonio Felix da Costa and Augusto Farfus were more optimistic. “We showed that our car has the pace to fight for podiums and wins. This was only the second 24-hour race for the BMW M8 GTE and the second WEC race for BMW Team MTEK – we are still learning with the new car,” said da Costa.
“In this respect we made the most out of this race. I was a bit nervous in my first stint, but the following double stint was just fun. We were fast, I overtook a lot of cars. Then we were unfortunately hit from the damper issues and the accident. We will come back stronger.”
While Farfus added; “It was great to be back in Le Mans – and I felt honoured to be part of this programme and to race here once again. As in 2011 I took the start, over the course of the race we showed a good pace. Despite our lack of experience here in Le Mans we were right in the mix.”