Racing News

BMW of North America has announced that BMW Team RLL engineers and technicians are at BMW Motorsport in Munich, finishing the construction of the first U.S.-bound M8 GTE. The announcement was the first confirmation that BMW Team RLL would be back to run BMW's IMSA team in 2018.

The car will arrive at team principal Bobby Rahal’s Ohio shop in late November, and will begin testing soon after that. IMSA’s first officially sanctioned test session in advance of the 2018 season will be held at Daytona International Speedway on December 5-6. The season begins with the Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 27-28.

Rahal said, “Coming off one of our most successful years together with BMW, I am very pleased that we will continue to work together in the years to come to gain more victories and championships for BMW. This has been a tremendous, long-term relationship that started in 2009 and we are very honored and privileged to represent BMW on the race tracks of North America. An enhanced RLL organization for 2018 will no doubt help in the development and running of the new BMW M8 GTE, which surely is one of the most exciting new cars of 2018.”

BMW NA motorsport manager Victor Leleu added, “The BMW M8 GTE will begin another chapter for BMW Team RLL and we are excited to start testing. Bobby’s team has helped make the M3, Z4 and M6 winners against the best GT competition in the world and we have no doubt that the M8 GTE will follow the same course. As evidenced by our four victories with the M6 GTLM this season and especially the Petit Le Mans win, BMW Team RLL - like good wine - gets better with age.”

The November 7 release is the second announcement of 2018 BMW motorsport news within a week; late last week Formula E’s release of its season four driver lineup revealed that Tom Blomqvist will join the Andretti Formula E team for the season beginning in December in Hong Kong. Additional information on 2018 programs will be released on December 15 during BMW Motorsport’s annual Season Review banquet.—Brian S. Morgan