A few months ago BMW announced their planned entry into FIA WEC starting with the 2018 season. A teaser of their challenger has now been revealed ahead of the official launch, the BMW M8 GTE. Starting with the 2016 season, both IMSA and WEC rules regarding GT cars have come closer than ever. WEC’s GTE and IMSA’s GTLM continue to be pretty much an open book with the former now accepting forced induction as seen on the Ferrari 488 GTE and the Ford GT.
Unlike IMSA, WEC has a limited number of GT manufacturers participating throughout the season. They include Porsche, Ferrari, Ford, Aston Martin and Corvette as an occasional participant mainly during Le Mans. Manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Bentley, Nissan and Lamborghini opt for other series such as Blancpain GT which is considered to have favorable rules. BMW itself a popular name in both Blancpain GT and IMSA now aims at making a comeback at Le Mans starting next season.
BMW’s first race at Le Mans was in 1939 where they finished first in class with the 328, and fifth overall. They went into a hiatus for 33 years before making a return in 1972. Their most popular success was with McLaren who used the BMW S70/2 V12 engine in the F1 GTR. The 1999 Le Mans was their last successful entry where they won the race with the BMW V12 LMR.
We will keep you updated on the BMW M8 GTE launch journey.