Following a second-place finish in Japan last month, BMW Team MTEK will make its debut at the Shanghai International Circuit in China this weekend for the fifth round of the 2018/2019 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) Super Season, the “6 Hours of Shanghai”.
In the #82 BMW M8 GTE, the “Six Hours of Fuji” runners-up António Félix da Costa (POR) and Tom Blomqvist (GBR) will return hoping for success in Shanghai, while Martin Tomcyzk (GER) and Nick Catsburg (NED) will aim to take their first podium in the #81 machine.
BMW Team MTEK Team Principal Ernest Knoors feels that the team has a good chance in the “6 Hours of Shanghai” following a flawless performance and strong strategy in Fuji.
Comments ahead of the “6 Hours of Shanghai”:
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“We travel to Shanghai feeling confident, thanks to our second place finish in the ‘Six Hours of Fuji’ last month. We showed there that we have a package capable of winning and, by finishing just ten seconds behind the race leader, just how closely competitive the GTE Pro class is. Again, the team will arrive at a new track for them and this will mean working harder than all of the other GTE Pro class teams that have raced there before. But, we did it in Fuji and we can do it again. Now we hope for another success for the BMW M8 GTE.”
Ernest Knoors (Team Principal, BMW Team MTEK):
“After Japan, we can all be quite happy with where we were and how we performed. It would have been nice to have two cars at the sharp end at the chequered flag, but I think with the way the strategy played out, in changeable conditions, we were well positioned to have a good result with either car depending on how the weather went. I’m very happy with how the team performed – we had great pitstops, no penalties, and a strong performance from drivers, crew and engineers. We look forward to Shanghai with optimism – the fast sections should suit us even if we the tighter sections are a challenge – and hope to end the year on a high.”
Martin Tomczyk (#81 BMW M8 GTE):
“Now that the team has taken a podium, I know that we will be competitive in Shanghai. I think the track may suit us like it did in Fuji – overall, it won’t be the best for us but we can use the long straight to our advantage. It’s the first time at the track for BMW Team MTEK but we are still aiming for the podium. We just need to arrive completely ready.”
Nick Catsburg (#81 BMW M8 GTE):
“I’m really looking forward to returning to Shanghai – I’ve raced here on the smaller track in the FIA WTCC but it’s the first time on the longer configuration and in a GT car. It’s a track that I’ve always liked to drive on so I’m looking forward to it. After seeing our team-mates on the podium in Fuji, we know that the team is where we need to be and, hopefully, we can continue that into Shanghai. It would be nice for Martin and me to take a podium. Let’s see how it goes.”
António Félix da Costa (#82 BMW M8 GTE):
“After the strong result in Fuji, I’m looking forward to getting back it the BMW M8 GTE. It’s a new track for me and for the team, but Tom has been here before so it will be good to have him on board once again. We made some good steps forward in Fuji so hopefully we can make some more small steps in terms of performance and we should be able to chase another good result.”
Tom Blomqvist (#82 BMW M8 GTE):
“Having had a podium last time out in Fuji, it would be a lie If I told you we weren’t expecting to fight for one in Shanghai too. That’s definitely the goal for us. For sure, we have to see how our car will perform around Shanghai, as each venue is a new proving ground for our BMW M8 GTE. I’ve done this race before in LMP2 and know how difficult the track can be so it’s going to be critical to nail the setup for the race. Having not driven since Fuji, I’m pretty excited to get back behind the wheel and I know António is just as hungry as I am for another good result. Hopefully we are able to reward the team for all their hard work throughout 2018.”