Number 82 BMW M8 GTE to start the Le Mans 24-hour race from fifth place
On Wednesday and Thursday, BMW Team MTEK continued preparations for the 24-hour race in Le Mans (FRA). After three qualifying sessions at the grand finale of the FIA World Endurance Championship ‘Super Season’, the no. 82 BMW M8 GTE secured fifth place on the grid in the highly competitive LM GTE Pro class with a time of 3:49.108 minutes. Augusto Farfus (BRA) recorded a decisive time improvement in the lap time at the start of the final night qualifying session.
BMW Team MTEK’s second car, #81, finished 16th. The BMW M8 GTE was damaged when Nick Catsburg (NED) went off eleven minutes into the third session. He was unable to continue qualifying, meaning that the time of 3:51.353 minutes from the previous sessions was recorded as final. Pole position went to the #95 Aston Martin.
Catsburg, Martin Tomczyk (GER) and Philipp Eng (AUT) will share driving duties during the race in the #81 car. Farfus, António Félix da Costa (POR), and Jesse Krohn (FIN) will be competing in the #82 BMW M8 GTE.
Tradition dictates that no driving takes place on the Friday in Le Mans. The highlight of the day is the Drivers’ Parade during the afternoon, which is once again set to delight racing fans from all around the world in the heart of the town. The Saturday in Le Mans then gets going with the warm-up from 09:00 to 09:45, before the field comes together at 15:00 for the 87th edition of the classic endurance race.
Reactions to qualifying for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Ernest Knoors (Team Principal, BMW Team MTEK):
“It was a bit of a mixed bag, to be honest. Both cars were in the mix and higher than where we thought they would be. We got the maximum we could – we knew we would not be capable of fighting at the sharper end. Car #81 was unlucky but we’d rather have it happen today than at the weekend. We’re looking forwarded to pushing hard and racing to our full potential.”
Augusto Farfus (#82 BMW M8 GTE):
“We’re pleased with what we have achieved in qualifying. Fifth place is reasonable – there’s not a lot more we could have done. We have 24 hours to move forward so we’re happy. It’s a shame for the #81 car but it shows the level of commitment we need to get a good qualifying lap.”
Nick Catsburg (#81 BMW M8 GTE):
“Obviously, that’s not what you want to happen just before the race. I made a mistake which ended qualifying. The lap I was on was for a top-five result which was better than expected. We have to work hard in the race but this team can do it.”
Source: BMW EU