BMW Team MTEK is in France for the world-famous 24 Hours of Le Mans this weekend (15th/16th June), for what promises to be an exciting finale to the 2018/2019 World Endurance Championship (WEC) Super Season.
The team from Garching (GER) will again field a pair of BMW M8 GTEs, which have both had podium success in the manufacturer’s debut WEC season. In the #81 car, Martin Tomcyzk (GER) and Nick Catsburg (NED) will once again be joined by Philipp Eng (AUT). Jesse Krohn (FIN) will make his Le Mans debut alongside season regulars António Félix da Costa (POR) and Augusto Farfus (BRA) in the #82 sister car.
BMW celebrates a special anniversary at Le Mans this year, as it marks 20 years since the BMW V12 LMR claimed the overall win in the 24-hour race. To honour this success, the race-winning car will be on display this weekend at Le Mans.
Comments ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Group Motorsport Director):
“The 24 Hours of Le Mans is an event that plays a huge role, not only in the world of motorsport, but also automotive. Although we decided to quit WEC after the end of this ‘Super Season’ in light of us sharpening our focus as part of our strategy for the future, we are all proud to get another chance to race on this legendary circuit. It’s a highlight for everybody involved – the team, drivers, engineers, mechanics. Every single member is pushing hard to end this chapter on a high. Our Le Mans history may be taking a break, but our passion for the race remains.”
Ernest Knoors (Team Principal, BMW Team MTEK):
“It’s nice to be back at Le Mans but it’s sad that it’s our final event in WEC. We have to focus on getting the best performance for BMW and for MTEK and do the project proud. Whatever the conditions are that we have to race under, we will make the most of it. Le Mans is a long race with a lot of changing conditions so it’ll be tough. We’re as prepared as we can be but it’s going to take perfect strategy and some good luck to take the top step. Luck is always preparation meeting opportunities so we hope to be able to capitalise on some this weekend.”
Martin Tomczyk (#81 BMW M8 GTE):
“After the pre-test we were quite okay. We ran through our programme without any issues on both cars. It was good to be back at Le Mans and to do the first metres there. Basically the car is running well and set-up seems to be fine. We are just lacking a bit in performance. I know it’s a difficult task but as a driver you always look out for the maximum performance, and when you see quite a big gap between the cars it’s not that easy to understand because the car felt quite good. But overall I think we are ready for the race. The team did quite well, they’re prepared themselves very nicely. It will be the last race for BMW Team MTEK and myself in WEC this year so we hope we can enjoy it and hopefully with a nice result to finish up WEC.“
Nick Catsburg (#81 BMW M8 GTE):
“Le Mans is obviously one of the highlights of the season. It has a bit of both extremes of emotions because it’s one of the coolest races of the year but it’s also the last race for us at BMW Team MTEK in WEC. That is obviously not so nice. But let’s try and finish off with a good result. I think we have a car to do it. Last year we were okay, we were competitive but not reliable. I think this year we will have a bit more reliability after one year of working on and getting to know the car. So hopefully we can do a better result. For sure, me, Martin and Philipp will try as hard as we can.”
Philipp Eng (#81 BMW M8 GTE):
“It goes without saying that Le Mans is the all-time classic. In my eyes it is one of the greatest car races in the world. After our big win at Daytona it would be unbelievably amazing to win at Le Mans with BMW. It would be a phenomenal highlight, not only in 2019 but in my career, and alongside BMW. I’m incredibly happy, and proud of this opportunity. I’m very much looking forward to the entire week at Le Mans. For performance in the race, we will have to see. After the test, we were very happy with the balance and with the drivability of the BMW M8 GTE.”
António Félix da Costa (#82 BMW M8 GTE):
“I’m really looking forward to my second go at the 24 hours of Le Mans. It’s one of the biggest races in the world and last year was such an amazing experience. This year, we’re coming in with a lot more experience, not only me, but the team. We know the car much better and it’s much more reliable. So hopefully we can pull decent result as our goodbye to WEC.”
Augusto Farfus (#82 BMW M8 GTE):
“It is the last race in the WEC for us so it’s going to be very emotional for the whole team. We’ve been working together since before WEC to try and win this race. We are very well-prepared but we hope that we are given enough pace to challenge.”
Jesse Krohn (#82 BMW M8 GTE): “It’s my first time at Le Mans but it’s been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. To finally get the chance to race here makes it extra motivating to succeed. It’s the best-known endurance race on the planet and I can’t wait for the week to get stated. The track is amazing – it’s exactly as I imagined it. You can feel the heritage and, because it’s so rare to drive there, you feel like it is a real privilege to start every lap that you do.”