Munich. BMW M Motorsport will make its maiden FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) appearance this week (6th/7th April) as it enters The Prologue, the official pre-season test at Circuit Paul Ricard in the South of France. BMW M Motorsport can count on the support of old and new partners.
The new BMW M8 GTE will be in action at a two-day event on the track near Le Castellet (FRA) and take part in a 30-hour test designed to prepare teams for the eight-round global endurance Super Season, featuring two 24 Hours of Le Mans (FRA), concluding at La Sarthe in June 2019.
BMW M Motorsport is competing with two BMW M8 GTE cars in the FIA WEC under the BMW Team MTEK banner. The colour scheme for both cars is a nod to the long motor racing history of BMW – with the innovative BMW M Motorsport design, giving a brand-new interpretation to the classic BMW M colours of light blue, dark blue and red. A total of seven BMW works drivers will be present to drive the number 81 and number 82 BMW M8 GTE cars: Martin Tomczyk (GER), Nick Catsburg (NED), Philipp Eng (AUT), António Félix da Costa (POR), Augusto Farfus (BRA), Alexander Sims (GBR) and Tom Blomqvist (GBR). Blomqvist will be the official substitute for Farfus, when the Brazilian will be unavailable due to his DTM commitments. Each of the drivers bring with them valuable experience gained during the BMW M8 GTE’s extensive test programme.
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt said: “A project like this is not possible without strong partners. That is why we are delighted that our participation in the FIA WEC is supported by a range of companies. This includes those that are expanding their long-term involvement, as well as new partners.” As an example, Shell remains Premium Technology Partner of BMW M Motorsport in the WEC. The Official Partners Akrapovič, CATL and H&R are all expanding their existing collaboration with BMW M Motorsport as well. BMW M Performance Parts is also on board as Official Partner in various projects such as the WEC. OSRAM previously provided BMW M Motorsport with innovating lighting technology at last year’s Nürburgring 24-hour race – and will do likewise at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Panasonic is a new addition to the list of Official Partners. The Official Suppliers for BMW M Motorsport in the WEC are tyre partner Michelin and the suppliers Puma and Oakley. DJI is the Official Media Partner.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“The countdown to our first season in the FIA WEC and our return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans is on. The Prologue in Le Castellet marks another important step. That is where the team and the drivers will add the final polish to preparations before the first race appearance for the new BMW M8 GTE in Europe. The 30-hour test is a very special challenge for drivers and cars alike. The first encounter with the rest of the WEC field is sure to be interesting.”
Ernest Knoors (Team Principal, BMW Team MTEK):
“It is always a great moment when things finally get started: the car gets its final livery for the first time, you have both cars in action and the pit is set-up completely. Naturally, we know the car and what it is like working at the track, but the closer the actual races get, the more fun the job is. After all, we live to take on our rivals and try to do better than our competitors. Paul Ricard is a good first step, even though this kind of prologue is new to us because other championships don’t have this kind of thing. Our focus will still be on testing and on performing procedures as close as possible to those during race action so that the team is perfectly prepared in all areas for the first race at Spa-Francorchamps.”
Martin Tomczyk (no. 81 BMW M8 GTE):
“The prologue is the first official WEC event this year, and it also gives you a bit of a thrill, since it is something totally new for me and the team. We will be on the track with our rivals for the first time – and with the various classes – and will be testing for two days with everyone together. It is a good initial benchmark of where we are and a chance to get to know the WEC racing environment a bit better.”
The Media Opportunities.
Media attendees are invited to a ‘Meet The Team’ session at 12:15hrs on Friday 6th April in the media area at the end of The Panoramic Restaurant.