Alexander Sims edged the #82 BMW Team MTEK into contention in his opening stint of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with the Briton rising to fourth in the GTE Pro class on board the debuting M8 GTE.
Sims is sharing the driving duties with Augusto Farfus and António Félix da Costa and put in a good first stint that saw him move ahead of a number of his rivals as the Pro battle between the manufacturers remained close and often feisty, although he wasn’t aware of the gaps to the front runners during his time on track.
“Honestly, I didn’t see a huge amount of how the gaps developed over my stint, it seemed that we were in the race,” said Sims. “We were able to move forward a bit but it’s the second hour of a twenty-four hour race, and I’m not going to get ahead of myself.
“It seems our race pace is better than quali, and I’m looking forward to see how it develops.”
Sims says he will next step into the BMW under the cover of darkness and is scheduled to do at least a double stint behind the wheel, after which he hopes to be able to get some much-needed sleep.
“The race will evolve I’m sure, but I have a double stint the next time I get in the car, which I think will be around ten o’clock,” said Sims. “But with slow zones, safety cars, things like that, you can’t have a firm schedule in terms of time.
“Double and triple stints in the night to be able to get some time off and maybe get a little bit of sleep.”
Sims admits the whole GTE Pro class is operating at a very high level and there is a lot of respect amongst all of the professional drivers that fill the seventeen cars across six manufacturers, with some of his rivals heroes of the British racer as he developed into a world class sportscar driver.
“It’s a category where everyone has massive respect for one another,” said Sims. “We’re all operating on a pretty high level, fully professional category, professional teams and drivers its really beautiful to be out there battling against these guys.
“Many of them I looked up to in the last five to ten years as I was getting into GT racing as my heroes, as people to really look at what they do and learn from them and then driving and racing against them is pretty special.
“It’s wonderful to be out there racing against all the other competitors in our category.”