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Catsburg "hopes" M8 GTE test leads to race chance

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Catsburg "hopes" M8 GTE test leads to race chance
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Co-author: Tim Biesbrouck
Aug 16, 2017, 11:56 AM

BMW factory driver Nicky Catsburg says his maiden test outing in the M8 GTE has given him hope that he could be in line to race the car next season.

The Bavarian manufacturer is currently developing the M8 to race in both the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, with the new machine set for a race debut in next January's Daytona 24 Hours.

BMW performed its first track test with the M8 at Lausitz last month, and more recently put further miles on the car at Barcelona, where driving duties were shared between Catsburg, Martin Tomczyk, Bruno Spengler and Phillipp Eng over the three days.

"BMW has a large group of competitive drivers and it’s an honour that they gave me this opportunity, to be one of the first to drive the car," Catsburg, who currently combines his BMW GT commitments with a full-time Volvo WTCC drive, told Motorsport.com.

"I really hope that I will be given the opportunity [to race]. It was amazing that BMW gave me this opportunity [to test], to be able to do development work in such an early stage.

"It’s a very cool project and it’s impressive to see how many people from BMW are dedicated to it. It’s fun to be part of and car is absolutely promising."

Catsburg added the M8 is a very different proposition from the M6 GTLM car he has raced in the Daytona and Sebring IMSA enduros this season.

"When you compare the GTE with the GT3 there are major differences," he said. "On every aspect, the car is made for GTE while the M6 GT3 is a customer project.

"That’s also a great car to drive, but the GTE is being developed for works drivers and I think as a driver you will notice the difference."

Philipp Eng, BMW M8 GTE

Philipp Eng, BMW M8 GTE

Photo by: BMW AG

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About this article

Series WEC
Drivers Nick Catsburg
Teams BMW Team MTEK Shop Now
Author Jamie Klein