events11 May 2018

As preparations continue to return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans and enter the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), BMW Motorsport is looking forward to welcoming a new world-renowned partner. Panasonic is entering the newly formed Super Season 2018/2019 of the endurance world championship as the 'Official Partner' of BMW Motorsport. The championship will see two BMW M8 GTE cars contest eight races on three continents, including two appearances at Le Mans.

“Entering the WEC and the related return of BMW Motorsport to Le Mans is one of the major highlights of the 2018 season for us,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “I’m really excited that with Panasonic we have a true global player on our side, one which already has a lot of experience as a partner of top-class motorsport. Just like BMW, Panasonic is always on the look-out for innovations. This is what makes our collaboration extremely promising.”

The BMW M8 GTE made its first racing appearance in January at the season opener of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

Masashi Nagayasu, Vice President, Automotive Industrial Systems Company, Director, Automotive Marketing & Sales Division commented: “Panasonic is excited to announce this landmark partnership with premium OEM BMW. Panasonic is already a world-leader in Mobility Technologies, and further demonstrates this commitment to innovation through this BMW WEC partnership.”

As long term 'Official Partner', the Panasonic logo will be visible on both BMW M8 GTE cars, the helmets and racing suits of the BMW works drivers in the WEC and on the clothing of all other team members.

The BMW M8 GTE cars are adorned with the Panasonic logo

The first race outing for the two BMW M8 GTEs in this championship took place on 5 May in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. The race at the challenging track in the Belgian Ardennes region not only marked the start of the season, but was also the dress rehearsal for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which will take place on 16/17 June. Three six-hour races in Silverstone, Great Britain, will now take place, followed by Panasonic’s home event in Fuji, Japan, and in Shanghai, China. The season will continue into next year in Sebring, USA and Spa-Francorchamps, before the BMW drivers take on the 24-hour challenge of Le Mans once again on 15/16 June at the season finale of the first WEC super season.

Find out more about BMW M8 GTE's concept production counterpart, the BMW 8 Series Coupé, here.

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