Motorsport Jens Marquardt Interview at the BMW M8 GTE

About a year before the market launch of the BMW M8 coupe this weekend the BMW M8 GTE on the track and celebrate in the context of the 24-hour race of Daytona be racing debut. In the detailed Interview with BMW Motorsport boss Jens Marquardt said: what are the challenges and opportunities for the development of a racing car was connected to the “base vehicle” is not yet completed in all Details.

The regulations prescribe that the body of the BMW M8 GTE corresponds in many points of the series vehicle. The unusual chronological order made it possible, therefore, to modify the originally planned body shell of the production vehicle, along with the needs of BMW Motorsport, and to generate benefits for both projects. Who acquires later, a BMW M8 with road approval, you can be certain: at almost any car with sporty claim claimed close to Motorsport in this case is actually particularly intense.

Mr. Marquardt, the race debut of the new BMW M8 GTE. You take us on a journey through the development phase of the race car in the past few months. How it all started?
Jens Marquardt: “The first race of the new BMW M8 GTE at Daytona is Special for each of us at BMW Motorsport. The roots of the GTE-project are a combination of many aspects. At the Start of the 2015 programme, the aim of the activities in the classic Motorsport, the BMW M Motorsport, to develop and to us even more international was. At the same time, the possible return to Le Mans had on our team has a fascination all of its own. The most important factor, however, was that the time was right, the BMW 8er coupe series of model. We received from the Board of Directors the green light to develop in parallel to the series colleagues, a pure-bred GTE race car. So off we went. Now the BMW M8 GTE is ready for Daytona. For the first Time in the history of BMW Motorsport, the car in front of his series counterpart is in use.“

As the development of the BMW M8 GTE was launched, there was still not a production model…
Marquardt: “Correct. We have worked together from the beginning, side-by-side with colleagues from series development to the individual steps as well as possible coordinated. Still, it was a challenge. Than we needed the first body of the series production vehicle, there was quite simply no. We were then able to work with specific prototypes bodyshells from the series development. In this way, we worked our way step-by-step. Moreover, it has been changed to the beginning of our development of the production model is still easy. We had to do it so at the beginning, in a way, with a moving target.“

How did the collaboration with production colleagues?
Marquardt: “Very tight and efficient. The developers of the series had, of course, be the masters of their very own challenges. Nevertheless, they were for the GTE project, always open and helpful. It was real Teamwork. We have an early synchronized our development priorities with the focus on topics related to the series model. The question was: What is emitting the car, and embody? The core values of the BMW 8er coupe should also be the Strengths of the BMW M8 GTE.“

Can you give examples for these development priorities?
Marquardt: “we Take the Design in a number of respects. We accept necessarily, the outer contour and the roof line of the serial model. It was also to bring in elements like the headlamps, the ‘Carbon Core’ or the centre console on the Basis of the BMW 8er coupe in the car. The topic of carbon fiber has, in principle, played a large role.“

The BMW M8 will GTE his series counterpart is by the joint development like no other BMW race car?
Marquardt: “If you look at the rules, is about the BMW M6 GT3, the engine is extremely close to the series, we could, however, change the body more. The BMW M8 GTE, the body shell is closer to the production model, the engine had to be modified considerably. But the Important thing is: The BMW M6 GT3, we have placed on an existing car. It was different this time. Because the race car is already in front of the series vehicle is in use, we have worked very early and closely with the Design Department to ensure that the form fits the language. This has worked very well.“

The GTE class is highly competitive, both in the IMSA series as well as in the FIA WEC. How big is the challenge in terms of Performance?
Marquardt: “We are meeting with the BMW M8 GTE to strong competition, that much is clear. We had as a reference the BMW M6, racing, was, in turn, have been from the GT3-car derived. Now we were able to focus fully on the requirements of the GTE-class. So many parts have been designed specifically for this vehicle, to areas such as weight, centre of gravity and aerodynamics explicitly on the later field of application to vote. We have exceeded our own targets, with the engine and aerodynamics, even a piece of. Also in the case of other components, such as suspension or traction control, we have taken a big step. The feedback of the driver to confirm. To what are the results to us in the course of the year, we will see. The ‘Balance of Performance’ plays an important role. Large potential of the BMW M8 GTE has, however, in any case.“

It was in the development of specific key moments?
Marquardt: “The special team spirit in the development team is definitely long in the memory. The engineers have motivated each other again and again and a lot of heart and soul invested in this project. The Rollout in Dingolfing, was the first highlight. Similarly, it was significant then the second step, wherein the final gear and the final aerodynamics came to the car. This was an extremely challenging time schedule, which led directly into a 24-hour Test. All we have done as a Team with a remarkable group dynamic to notice. I’m proud of everyone at BMW Motorsport.“

The extent to which the development work after the first race in Daytona?
Marquardt: “There are according to the Homologation of the vehicle in partial areas, in which we can change things. Especially in the area of the Software, further work is still possible, also to the tuning of the BMW M8 GTE with all its systems, we will continue to work and the experience gathered. Now, we can look forward to the first race in Daytona.“

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