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New BMW M8 GTE car for WEC and IMSA 'on target' in testing

BMW M8

Development of BMW's new M8 GTE World Endurance Championship contender is "on target", according to the German manufacturer's motorsport boss, Jens Marquardt.

The new V8-powered car, which was officially unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show in traditional BMW Motorsport colours last week, has now undertaken multiple tests since its roll-out on July 1, Marquardt confirmed.

"We can say that we are on target at this point in terms of the objectives that we have set ourselves," he told Autosport.

"It is a tight schedule, so there is not a lot of room for any delays, but everything is going according to plan.

"But I'm sure if you asked our engineers, they would say they would like another three months of development!"

BMW M8

The first race of the M8 GTE will be at the Daytona 24 Hours next January at the start of the IMSA SportsCar Championship, in which the new car will also compete.

Marquardt would not reveal how many miles the car has completed in the hands of the MTEK squad, which is heading development of the M8 ahead of a 2018/19 WEC campaign, but he revealed that the team had already undertaken "five or six tests".

Six of BMW's roster of GT drivers have so far driven the car, he said.

These are known to include 2011 DTM champion Martin Tomczyk, who is leading the development of the M8 GTE, Maxime Martin and Nicky Catsburg.

Marquardt, who attended last weekend's Austin WEC round, stressed that BMW is supportive of the changes to the series.

"The approach to have Le Mans at the end of the season is a good one," he said.

"To only have one race before our Le Mans return next year will be a challenge, but the transition season was always going to be a compromise."

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