Two continents, two race series, two podiums: BMW M Motorsport can look back on a successful weekend with the new BMW M8 GTE. António Félix da Costa (POR) and Tom Blomqvist (GBR) finished second for BMW Team MTEK in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) round at Fuji (JPN) driving the #82 BMW M8 GTE in the LM GTE Pro class. At the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season finale at Road Atlanta (USA), BMW Team RLL’s John Edwards (USA), Jesse Krohn (FIN) and Chaz Mostert (AUS) came third in the GTLM category and were also celebrating on the podium.
BMW Team MTEK delivered a strong performance over the course of the Fuji weekend. In qualifying, the #82 car had clocked the second-fastest time. In the race, Félix da Costa and Blomqvist managed to record the same result and the fastest lap. The #81 sister car, driven by Martin Tomczyk (GER) and Nick Catsburg (NED), crossed the line in eighth.
BMW Team RLL had every reason to be happy about another impressive team result at Petit Le Mans: after Edwards claimed pole position on Friday, the #24 car then finished third in the ten-hour race. Alexander Sims (GBR), Connor de Phillippi (USA) and Bill Auberlen (USA) finished fourth.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“This has been a really strong weekend for our BMW M8 GTE – and we scored podiums on two continents. BMW Team MTEK managed to score its maiden WEC top-three finish at Fuji. Meanwhile, BMW Team RLL recorded another great result at the IMSA series’ finale at Road Atlanta with pole and race positions three and four. It’s great to see that we can battle for victories in North America as well as in WEC. Our teams and our BMW M Motorsport crew in Munich have worked extremely hard for this over the past months. We are definitely moving in the right direction with the BMW M8 GTE.”
Rudolf Dittrich (General Manager BMW Motorsport Vehicle Development): “We saw an exciting WEC race with lots of position changes across the entire GTE class at Fuji where the BMW M8 GTE spent a good deal of time in the lead. It is still our first season in WEC with this car and team so for many it was the first time at Fuji. Despite the difficult weather conditions throughout the weekend the car worked flawlessly and the team did a very good job and well deserve the first podium result. Congratulations to the Porsche #92 crew.“
Ernest Knoors (Team Principal, BMW Team MTEK): “I think we’ve again built on the solid performances we’ve had throughout the season and we’re happy to come to Fuji and fight at the sharp end. The team works very well with strategy calls, pit stops and engineering and it’s a result of better understanding of our car. The drivers must also be commended, as always. They had the car in the right place for us to capitalise and the result reflects this full teamwork.”
Tom Blomqvist (BMW Team MTEK, #82 BMW M8 GTE, 2nd place): “I think we have to be happy with that. We thought we would be a bit more competitive here but you never know until you arrive. In practice, we struggled but we made good progress and then qualified on front row. Ultimately, the win was out of reach today so we have to be happy with P2.”
António Félix da Costa (BMW Team MTEK, #82 BMW M8 GTE, 2nd place):“We’re really happy with second place. The team put in another great performance – the strategy was really good, we made zero mistakes and the pitstops were great. The BMW M8 GTE was totally flawless. To finish within ten seconds of the lead after six hours is frustrating but shows how closely competitive it was this weekend.”
Bobby Rahal (Team Principal, BMW Team RLL): “Both crews did great job today. In the end we did not have quite enough for a win, but P3 and P4 is an excellent result. Our enthusiasm for this BMW M8 GTE continues to grow every race.”
John Edwards (BMW Team RLL, #24 BMW M8 GTE, 3rd place): “A podium is a great way to end the season. The team has done a great job. We’ve really started to figure out the car. Our results speak for all the work that went into the car this time last year by the guys back at the shop. All that work really started to pay off towards the end of this year and I’m sure that will continue next year.”
Jesse Krohn (BMW Team RLL, #24 BMW M8 GTE, 3rd place): “Overall a really amazing job from the team all weekend. I don’t know what more we could have done to secure the win today. The BMW M8 GTE is really a different beast now from what it was in the beginning of the year. The development of this car has been nothing short of incredible, the two race wins speak for themselves. It’s been a close to perfect year in a progression sense and I’m really looking forward to next year.”
Chaz Mostert (BMW Team RLL, #24 BMW M8 GTE, 3rd place): “I really didn’t expect this kind of weekend. I just wanted to get in the car and do a good job. I got carried today by John and Jesse; those guys are superstars. I was just along for the ride. I’m very grateful to BMW Motorsport and BMW Team RLL for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this race.”