Who’s New in the LMGTE Pro Class for Super Season
It has been billed as the most competitive entry ever seen in the LMGTE Pro class, and few would dispute it.
The addition of two all-new BMW M8 GTE cars and the injection of some exceptional new driving talent in other teams has resulted in high anticipation as opening round of the Super Season approaches.
BMW arrives in the FIA WEC with a stellar line-up which includes former GP3 champion, Antonio Felix da Costa, who has been a key part of the development of the M8. Da Costa will race in the No.82 BMW Team MTEK car along with Brazilian Augusto Farfus and Alexander Sims both of who are longtime BMW-contracted drivers.
Farfus has a highly decorated career in the World Touring Car Championship and the DTM and also finished second in the 2015 Daytona 24 Hours. British driver Sims is one of the rising endurance racing talents, having already won the 24 Hours of Spa and finished second in the IMSA GTLM class last season. He actually made a brief appearance in the WEC during the inaugural season of 2012 when he piloted a Status GP-run Lola LMP2 car at Spa and Le Mans.
The No.81 BMW M8 GTE will be shared by Martin Tomczyk, Nicky Catsburg and Philipp Eng. All three make their WEC debuts in 2018 with Tomczyk being the most experienced on the international scene having won the 2011 DTM for Audi. Nicky Catsburg is a former 24 Hours of Spa winner for BMW and the Dutchman is highly rated as a quick and consistent GT racer. Austrian Philipp Eng has forged a name for himself in the Porsche Supercup where he was crowned champion in 2015, and he has also scored recent impressive results in GT3 racing and in IMSA.
The remaining driver new to WEC (other than Le Mans appearances) is the only Belgian in the race, Maxime Martin, who moved across from BMW to Aston Martin last year. Martin, the son of former endurance great Jean-Michel Martin, has a stellar CV which includes victory in the 2016 24 Hours of Spa and three race wins in the DTM and drives the No.97 all-new Aston Martin Vantage AMR with Alex Lynn and Jonny Adam.
Welcome to our world, welcome to the WEC, welcome to one and all!