BMW Struggles In A Wet Six-Hour WEC Race In Shanghai

Tom Blomqvist and António Félix da Costa in the #82 BMW Team MTEK M8 GTE finished eighth in the World Endurance Championship Six Hours of Shanghai on November 18. Their teammates Martin Tomczyk and Nick Catsburg in car #81 finished ninth.

The rain-plagued race was red-flagged twice in the first three hours because of track conditions. Both M8 GTEs struggled for traction in their first race on full wet tires. In addition, car #81, which had started second on the grid, lost positions when its pit stop strategy was set back by the timing of a safety car period. It finished sixth on the circuit, but was demoted to ninth when it was given a post-race penalty for an incident on the final lap, when Tomczyk rear-ended the #67 Ford GT. Car #82 had to serve a stop-and-go-penalty in the final hour of the race that dropped it from fifth to ninth; it was moved up to eighth in the standings because of the penalty to car #81.

The GTE class win went to Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen in the #95 Aston Martin Vantage. It was the first class win for the Aston.

BMW Team MTEK principal Ernest Knoors said, “In the end we can’t be happy with the result. To do well in a difficult event like this you need to make perfect calls and have some luck – unfortunately, this was not our race. But we did see the potential of the car earlier on in the weekend – in the dry and damp we got up to speed on a new track and qualified on the front row. We’d not yet driven the BMW M8 GTE in the wet, so we were really learning ‘on the job’ – it’s difficult to learn new conditions in the race. That said, every race is a learning curve, but we always come back stronger.”

The next race in the 2018-2019 WEC season is the 1000 Miles of Sebring in March.

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