BMW Team RLL will continue to fly the flag in IMSA’a GTLM class in 2018 with a pair of the new BMW M8 GTE machines.
BMW Team RLL engineers and technicians are currently at BMW Motorsport in Munich finishing the construction of the first US-bound car as the team prepares for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and its 10th season of sports car competition with the marque.
The news confirms the status quo for RLL after a period of some uncertainty, BMW taking a look elsewhere in the marketplace before determining that their current representative team would continue.
“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.” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal.
BMW Team RLL finished the 2017 IWSC season with four victories including consecutive wins at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Petit Le Mans to close the M6 GTLM program in the biggest way. Since 2009, the team has totaled 17 GT class wins among 68 total podium finishes.
The first M8 GTE car is scheduled to arrive at the team’s Hilliard, Ohio headquarters in late November with the US testing programme starting shortly thereafter. The first IMSA-sanctioned test of the car will be at Daytona International Speedway on Dec. 5-6, 2017.
“The BMW M8 GTE will begin another chapter for BMW Team RLL and we are excited to start testing,” said Victor Leleu, BMW of North America Motorsport Manager. “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.”