As well as looking at the some of the teams, cars, and personalities that won’t be around in 2018, we’ll also be looking forward on DSC, at what’s to come for the new sportscar season, which let’s not forget, starts in mid-January!
In this piece, we’re looking at GTE (and GTLM), where for 2018, we’ll see a pair of of new cars set to compete in the FIA WEC and IMSA.
And we’ll take a look at two other, very different , GTE ‘takes’.
Aston Martin Vantage GTE
After the retirement of the V8 Vantage GTE from factory Pro competition at the end of the 2017 season it’s baby sister is set to explode onto the racing scene in 2018.
Based on the new Vantage road car, and powered by an AMG supplied, Aston-developed twin turbo V8 the new car brings AMR’s ACO racing efforts bang up to date, with fundamentally better aero than the outgoing car and much greater fuel efficiency too.
At present the only campaign announced for the new car is a two car full season FIA WEC effort with the older car still set to do sterling service in the WEC GTE AM category and, potentially, in the ELMS GTE class too.
BMW M8 GTE
BMW finally step up with a ground-up car developed to GTE regulations.
The new M8 GTE is a big bruiser of a car, both in terms of physical size and of punch packed – a front mounted four litre twin turbo V8 is the perfect weapon for the fight in hand.
ex DTM team MTEK will do duty in the first season of BMW’s presence in the full FIA WEC with BMW Team RLL retained for a two car IMSA effort.
Is this, or isn’t it, the basis of a return for the 1995 Le Mans winning marque to the scene of their greatest non-Formula One triumph?
Let’s look at the available evidence – road legal – check, 4 litre twin turbo V8 – check, right on the money for the current regulations! Factory interested? – check, McLaren Automotive’s Mike Flewitt recently told the DSC Ed that GTE was “an ambition”.
Beyond that the only other relevant question is – When?
Well certainly not in 2018 – McLaren are building their new GT factory, initially for the build and development of the 2019 720S GT3.
That is due for test and development in 2018, and customer deliveries in 2019.
That leaves the door open for a replacement development programme in 2019, and a race programme in 2020, rather neatly 25 years after McLaren’s 1995 Le Mans win! If you were going to do it, you do it then wouldn’t you?
Another marque with real appetite for GTE racing – there’s been precious little detail as yet of the rumoured 2019 programme for the marque other than the following:
It’s commercial case is believed to be linked to the sales of the forthcoming Lamborghini Urus SUV, set to be powered by – guess what? A 4 litre twin turbo V8!
As for the model set to feature as a future Lamborghini GTE – It is not either a Huracan or Aventador.
The Geneva Motor Show in 2018 might well see some very interesting news!
Ferrari 488 GTE Evo
The Ferrari 488 is now one of the oldest of the current batch of GTEs and 2018 will see a significant ‘Evo’ kit debut for the car that has dominated WEC Championships for the past two years.
The car will see changes in both GTE and GT3 form in the engine and powertrain aimed at improving reliability whilst balance, drag and downforce improvements are set to come with new front and rear lower bodywork, a revised front splitter, revised diffuser and floor.
“We are aiming to reduce drag, whilst improving downforce,” Christiano Michelotto told the DSC Ed last month.