After months of intensive development, the BMW M8 GTE will take to the track at the 24-hour race in Daytona this weekend.
The 28 Daytona 24 Hours race will be the 56th edition of the endurance classic, taking place on January 27-28. BMW Team RLL will have the privilege of taking on the first race with the BMW M8 GTE, as the crew enters its 10th season with BMW. It will be competing in the IMSA series with two BMW M8 GTEs this year.
As the latest creation from BMW’s GT car development program, the M8 GTE was developed and constructed in order to be eligible to compete at Le Mans, where the German automaker will make a return since 2011. The race car is being developed in conjunction with the upcoming production 8 Series road car.
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The number-25 BMW M8 GTE will be piloted by Bill Auberlen, Alexander Sims, Connor De Phillippi, and Phillip Eng. Both Auberlen and Eng will be support drivers for the race, while Sims and Phillippi will be the season-long drivers. Driving the number-24 car will be John Edwards and Jesse Krohn, who are the drivers for the season. Supporting at Daytona will be Nick Catsburg and Augusto Farfus.
“The BMW M8 GTE is the only entirely new car in the GTLM field this year and we believe it has a great deal of potential. While we fought a number of new car gremlins at the Roar, I think everyone is generally quite happy,” said team principal BMW Team RLL, Bobby Rahal. “Certainly we will have a busy time back at the shop before the ‘Rolex 24’, but that is nothing unexpected. Compared with teams like Schnitzer who have been racing for BMW for multiple decades, we are the new guys, but the relationship is everything in motorsport. We are very proud to start our tenth year with BMW and especially proud to be the team that will debut the BMW M8 GTE.”