BMW has completed a successful 24-hour endurance test with its new M8 GTE, ahead of the car’s competition debut in January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The three-day test at Paul Ricard saw factory drivers Martin Tomczyk, Antonio Felix da Costa, Philipp Eng and Alexander Sims share driving duties of the new-for-2018 GTE car, which took part in both performance and endurance runs.
Monday’s schedule saw new aero developments evaluated on the car, followed by the endurance test on Tuesday and Wednesday, which resulted in no major issues.
It came as an “important step” forward for the development program, according to BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt.
“This test confirmed that our development of the car is on track,” he said. “We have seen that we can complete a marathon test without any major issues.
“Of course, when developing a new race car there are always areas with a little more room for improvement.
“Our engineers will now work hard on those in Munich, and during the tests in the USA.”
Tomczyk added: “An endurance test like this is a real acid test for the car, and the BMW M8 GTE passed it.
“Of course, there were one or two minor things but they did not affect the 24-hour run as a whole.”
BMW will field factory entries in both the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year with BMW Team MTEK and RLL, respectively.
Testing is now set to shift to Florida, beginning with next month’s IMSA-sanctioned test at Daytona, which is expected to mark the first competitive mileage of the car in the hands of the Bobby Rahal-led organization.