Jens Marquardt

Three questions for... BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt.

BMW Team MTEK had to settle for 12th place in the GTE Pro class with the #81 BMW M8 GTE at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The second car was forced to retire following an accident. In an interview, BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt looks back at the race.

Mr. Marquardt, how would you sum up the 24 Hours of Le Mans?

Jens Marquardt: “Although it is unfortunately not reflected in our result, the summary of the BMW M8 GTE’s race debut at Le Mans is actually a positive one. Prior to the race, we did not really know where we were in terms of performance. We have now seen that we have the pace required to compete at the front of the field. That is exactly what we were aiming for. We wanted to demonstrate the great potential of our car, and we achieved that. The fact that the technical issues and a crash denied us a good result is obviously disappointing for the team and the drivers. However, we can definitely return to Munich with our heads held high. One highlight was definitely the launch of the new BMW 8 Series Coupe at Le Mans. That was strong evidence of how important motorsport is to BMW.”

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BMW M8 GTE

Did the balance of power in the GTE Pro class at Le Mans surprise you?

Marquardt: “No. We always knew that the fans would be treated to an exciting race with plenty of action in the GTE Pro class. That was certainly the case. Congratulations to Porsche on the win. However, we would also like to compliment the ACO and the FIA. The GTE Pro class was, without doubt, the class with the greatest strength in depth this weekend and was, from a sporting perspective, an absolute treat – for fans and manufacturers alike. It was obviously very nice to be so heavily involved in the battle at the front of the field with the BMW M8 GTE.”

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What are your goals for the rest of the WEC season?

Marquardt: “We obviously want to back up the promising performance at Le Mans. Our next opportunity to do that comes at Silverstone. We have learned a lot here and are sure to take a few more steps in the right direction. The BMW M8 GTE will get even stronger. I am confident that, over the course of the season, we will be rewarded for the hard work, in the form of good results.”

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