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      06-17-2018, 11:33 AM   #1
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Strong pace but no reward: BMW M8 GTE finishes 12th in its Le Mans debut

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Strong pace but no reward: BMW M8 GTE finishes 12th in its Le Mans debut
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Le Mans. Mixed emotions for BMW M Motorsport after its return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans (FRA). The pair of BMW M8 GTEs were able to match the pace of the GTE Pro front-runners over the course of the 86th edition of the endurance classic, with both running in the top-three for long stretches of the race. While car #82 – driven by Augusto Farfus (BRA), Alexander Sims (GBR) and António Félix da Costa (POR) – had to retire from ninth following an accident in the early hours on Sunday, the #81 BMW M8 GTE made it to the finish after 332 laps. Martin Tomczyk (GER), Nick Catsburg (NED) and Philipp Eng (AUT) finished 12th.

Following strong race starts, both driver-trios lost ground on the 13.626-kilometre track due to damper failures, which caused additional pit stops for repairs. The race was then ended for car #82 after an accident on Sunday at about 6:30 hrs. Shortly after that, the radiator of the sister car had to be changed after being hit by debris on the track. 12th place was the highest possible position after the extended stops. The #92 Porsche secured victory at the “Circuit de la Sarthe”.

The Le Mans 24 Hours was the second round of the 2018/2019 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). The season will resume on 19th August with the 6 Hours of Silverstone (GBR).

Reactions to the 24 Hours of Le Mans:

Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):


“Our return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans turned out to be an emotional rollercoaster. First, it was great to see that were able to battle it out at the very front of the fiercely-fought GTE Pro class in terms of pace. Our drivers were involved in plenty of gripping duels with the competition and were even running in second place for some of the race. The BMW M8 GTE left a really strong impression. A podium seemed to be in reach but, unfortunately, technical issues and an accident cost us the chance to be rewarded for all the hard work in the build-up to this event. However, the positives outweigh the negatives: The fans were treated with action galore in the GTE Pro class. We were able to prove the full potential of our new car. In addition, we experienced the world premiere of the all-new BMW 8 Series Coupe on this unique stage. That’s another reason why this event will remain a good memory and give extra motivation to come back here even stronger for the Super Season finale in 2019. A big thank you and a lot of respect to everyone involved in this exciting BMW project with a lot of passion.”

Ernest Knoors (Team Principal, BMW Team MTEK):

“We are at the end of three weeks and 24 hours of highs and lows. The first few hours of the race were fantastic. Just to get through it and survive and then to be competitive was very good reward for our team and drivers for two years of hard work. But, then Le Mans happens and it’s tough. We can be very proud of what we achieved.”

Martin Tomczyk (#81 BMW M8 GTE):

“The BMW M8 GTE was very good here at Le Mans. We had the pace to fight for the top positions. The Porsches were really quick but we were able to match their pace for a long time. Unfortunately, we then had the damper problems on both cars that proved to be a decisive setback. It’s a big shame that we weren’t rewarded for the hard work over the past months.”

Nick Catsburg (#81 BMW M8 GTE):

“Positive was the great pace of the BMW M8 GTE. Also the team made some very good calls in terms of set-up. On the other-hand you have to drive the cars very hard here in Le Mans over a long period of time. Sometimes something breaks, and unfortunately that happened to both of our cars. That’s a shame but it’s also a part of racing. The whole week was a great experience for me.”

Philipp Eng (#81 BMW M8 GTE):

“This whole week in Le Mans was an amazing experience. In the garage I had goosebumps several times watching how close the team stood together and how much effort every single person put into this event. On track we were fighting for P2. Then being stopped by a damper is tough, of course. This experience will only make us stronger.”

Alexander Sims (#82 BMW M8 GTE):

“The spin was totally unexpected. 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.”

António Félix da Costa (#82 BMW M8 GTE):

“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. In this respect we made the most out of this race. For me as a driver it was also a big lesson. 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.”

Augusto Farfus (#82 BMW M8 GTE):

“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. We lost ground due to the damper failure, then we had to retire after the accident. But still: We have shown that we are a true team. This gives us a big motivation boost, and we will come back next year to do better.”

BMW M8 GTE Finishes 12th at Le Mans




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      06-17-2018, 12:03 PM   #2
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Yes saw the car at LeMans. Clearly more development needed. It made more of a whistle than exhibiting any serious exhaust noise.
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      06-17-2018, 12:21 PM   #3
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Great to see both cars race. Congrats to everyone for all of the work and Velocity for the live coverage
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      06-17-2018, 03:10 PM   #4
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Are these mid engined?
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      06-17-2018, 03:27 PM   #5
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Are these mid engined?
No, front engined twin turbo V8
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      06-17-2018, 03:49 PM   #6
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the porsches dominated. bmw got a fair amount of camera time the first few hours of the race. too bad they had so many problems.
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      06-17-2018, 04:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cc3 View Post
Yes saw the car at LeMans. Clearly more development needed. It made more of a whistle than exhibiting any serious exhaust noise.
I saw these cars race at the long beach gran Prix. They were so quiet you'd think they where electric cars.
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      06-17-2018, 08:17 PM   #8
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I was at 24H Le Mans and I have to admit that I was disappointed with BMW. And by far, the worst exhaust note - it almost sounded electric next to the other cars, especially the RSR.
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      06-17-2018, 08:21 PM   #9
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a street car that normally weights 4500 lbs doesnt really stand a chance against the dedicated race cars...
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      06-17-2018, 09:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JunkStory View Post
a street car that normally weights 4500 lbs doesnt really stand a chance against the dedicated race cars...
Trust me. The car isn't anywhere near that in fighting form. Dunno if the specs are out in the GTE car, but I'd assume a lot of CF and bee creature comforts knocked down the weight just fine.
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      06-17-2018, 10:18 PM   #11
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Some people still don't understand the concept of Homologation it appears. This is the ONLY way cars from different manufacturers and design philosophies can compete with one another on a relatively equal footing.

The M8 was created with Endurance Racing in mind and built backwords. Meaning it was designed for racing and then scaled back to a road going production version. The GTE car was already running laps and testing for almost two years, and we just had the unveiling of the 8 series car, with the M8 presumably following soon. Generally, you always have a road going car first and then is built and homologated for a specific series. This time, they started with the race car first.

I've watched the race on TV and BMW was competitive the first 5 or so hours. The commentators were really surprised how quick the cars were and were competing right up front until misfortune struck. If the suspension trouble didn't set them back several laps, the news could have read quite a bit differently, but that's racing, nothing is guaranteed.

I like the looks, it's fast, albeit doesn't quite sound as good as it looks. The RSR is the best sounding racer in the field hands down.

Let's see how they bounce back in WEC and in IMSA.
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      06-17-2018, 11:06 PM   #12
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Lots of learning lessons here
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      06-18-2018, 12:56 AM   #13
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The BMW board must be thinking their ROI is pretty low with the M8GTR.
I was at LB and they got spanked. The car is cool looking but not much sound.
How does Ford go to LeMans with a brand new car and win?
Is the BOP that bad, or is the car needing a lot more work?
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      06-18-2018, 06:06 AM   #14
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BMW M unfortunately doesn't do any real Motorsports anymore. They are very weak in GTE/GT3 class, they exited WTCC (Touring Cars) they don't participate in Formula racing nor LMP programs.

I think the only respectable customer racing they support is the M4 GT4 (new car, so far performing well).

I am also not sure that M8 is exactly the most suitable package to build a race car around - would M8/8-series buyer appreciate that their car goes racing? Would the typical Bentley Continental GT buyer care that that their cars go racing? Or Mercedes S-Coupe owner? Same question i've always had why they used M6 in the GT3 class - to me, that was a disaster. They never sold enough M6 GT3s to break even, and they performed "relatively" bad among other GT sports cars.

Sad to say - as a multiple BMW M car owner, M now no longer stands for Motorsports - but Marketing...

Last edited by noxredna; 06-18-2018 at 06:16 AM.
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      06-18-2018, 10:33 AM   #15
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I was fortunate enough to be at Le Mans 18', the Car is too big (see pics for reference ) and it was the worst sounding car there. So quiet, someone asked me if E stands for Electric? No joke.
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      06-18-2018, 10:37 AM   #16
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BMW needs to stop bringing knives to a gun fight. They try to prove some point by trying to compete with the bloated ass pigs (M6 and M8). Build something purposeful and homologate. It's how you started in the in the first place! Instead you're building heavy, Big, and numb street cars you're trying to polish into a race car... didn't work that well for the M6 (the excuse was always "needs more development") now you're running a bigger car. What's next? 7 series race car? 🙄
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      06-18-2018, 11:14 AM   #17
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Post #11 people! This is the first year of the M8 GTE/GTLM which was purposely built for WEC/IMSA. The M6 GTLM had a bad start, but after a year plus of testing and unfavorable BOP, finally came into its own at the end of last year winning several races and Petit.

BOP has become too political (imagine that) and the reason so far that the M8 has struggled after a few races. Their pace at LM was just as good as anyone in their class until dampers happened (although the RSR probably would have won anyways).

I wasn't a fan of the decision to make the M6/M8 race cars (should have gone with M4 despite the stupid DTM excuse), but these are all purpose-built race cars and the size/weight are comparable to everyone else in their class. The comparisons to road cars is ridiculous.
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      06-18-2018, 11:33 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F80NJM3 View Post
I was at 24H Le Mans and I have to admit that I was disappointed with BMW. And by far, the worst exhaust note - it almost sounded electric next to the other cars, especially the RSR.
In the Turbo BMW era, they have the worse sounding cars.

Why can't they make something that sounds as good as an AMG 4.0 V8 TT. They've even gone and ruined the somewhat acceptable S63tu sound with whatever they changes they made in the new M5.
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      06-18-2018, 12:04 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noxredna View Post
I am also not sure that M8 is exactly the most suitable package to build a race car around - would M8/8-series buyer appreciate that their car goes racing? Would the typical Bentley Continental GT buyer care that that their cars go racing? Or Mercedes S-Coupe owner? Same question i've always had why they used M6 in the GT3 class - to me, that was a disaster. They never sold enough M6 GT3s to break even, and they performed "relatively" bad among other GT sports cars.
^ This

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Originally Posted by F80NJM3 View Post
I was fortunate enough to be at Le Mans 18', the Car is too big (see pics for reference ) and it was the worst sounding car there. So quiet, someone asked me if E stands for Electric? No joke.
I died
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      06-18-2018, 01:29 PM   #20
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Perhaps as part of the sharing program with Toyota, the Toyo engineers will show them who's ass to kiss to get the BOP 'properly' weighted. Not saying there was a fix in or anything, I guess those Toyotas were just somehow that much better than e/t else in their group.

And was it just me that was a little PO'd that the AM national news didn't even MENTION Le Mans? I get to hear 3 times about how windy a golf tournament was, and not a word about one of the oldest, and perhaps the most significant auto races of them all. Perhaps Toyota should have spread the payola (I mean development budget) around a little, instead of sending it all to France....

Last edited by Maynard; 06-18-2018 at 01:33 PM. Reason: ranting
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      06-18-2018, 01:55 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F80NJM3 View Post
I was fortunate enough to be at Le Mans 18', the Car is too big (see pics for reference ) and it was the worst sounding car there. So quiet, someone asked me if E stands for Electric? No joke.
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      06-18-2018, 02:07 PM   #22
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I thought the full 24 hours of coverage this year was excellent, assuming one has Velocity to view it. I think it was a couple of years ago when the coverage abruptly stopped at the last two hours of the race to change to that damn golf tournament. Thankfully, that wasn't the case this year, though I was also surprised I didn't see any mention of the race in national news.

The competition in GTE Pro was pretty fierce and entertaining to watch. The BMWs were pretty competitive initially, an hopefully they will be able to iron out their endurance issues for future races.
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