BMW M8 GTE completes first track test

BMW’s M8 GTE that will compete in the World Endurance Championship next season completed its first full track test at the Lausitzring last week.

The German marque announced in May that its factory GTE challenger – which will race in the IMSA SportsCar Championship as well as the WEC – would be based on the ‘M’ version of its upcoming 8-Series road car.

Following an initial roll-out on July 1 at BMW’s Dingolfing plant near Munich, factory drivers Martin Tomczyk and Maxime Martin shared driving duties during last week’s three-day Lausitz test.

“Firstly, I feel very honoured to have been able to drive at the first real test of the BMW M8 GTE on the racetrack,” said Tomczyk.

“I had great fun with the car.

“The BMW M8 GTE is good to drive from the outset, and it is easy for us drivers to work out the way it handles, which is important.

“We got a lot of kilometres under our belt, and gathered a lot of data. “We also took our first steps with regard to performance, which is by no means a given at a first test.

“We will obviously work more intensively on that at the coming tests, and will build on the strong basis we established here at the Lausitzring.”

The M8 GTE is scheduled to make its race debut in the 2018 Daytona 24 Hours, and will undergo more tests in both Europe and North America throughout the remainder of 2017.

BMW motorsport boss Jens Marquardt said: “To see the BMW M8 GTE on the racetrack makes me very proud.

“Everyone involved has done a magnificent job in recent months to allow us to reach this milestone in the development of our new flagship for the GT racing scene.

“In the first instance, the purpose of a test like this is obviously to get to know the car. In this regard, greater emphasis is placed on the safety aspect than performance.

“However, the first impression of the BMW M8 GTE out on the track is a very positive one.”