Nicky completes his first 24 Hours of Le Mans with BMW
Nicky Catsburg finished his first 24 Hours of Le Mans in 11th position with BMW Team MTEK last Sunday after a rollercoaster of a race that saw him run as high as second prior to mechanical gremlins that compromised his second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
It was the debut of the #81 BMW M8 GTE at Le Mans and it was Nicky that took the chequered flag after 332 laps of competition in the ultra-competitive LMGTE Pro class. While the result was ultimately disappointing for Nicky and teammates Martin Tomczyk and Philipp Eng, his laps during the race were amongst the best set by the six BMW works drivers and he had no complaints about the pace of this still new GTE package or first 24-hour race at Circuit de la Sarthe.
- Qualified P13 with Martin Tomczyk taking the start at 15.00 Saturday
- Early safety car helps the team vault to P3 on lap 54 behind the #69 and #92
- Nicky passes the #69 for P2 lap 57
- Long stop for Philipp Eng to fix suspension issue at 00.30
- Nicky triple stints through darkness from lap 137 in P12
- Back in at 06.30 Sunday but team pit with a water leak on lap 234 and drop to P15
- Nicky completes the 2H stint after repairs and hands to Philipp Eng
- Nicky back in the M8 at 13.30 with 90m to go
- Forced to pit for suspension repairs lap 332
- Chequered flag at 15.00 Sunday in P11.
Nicky on the 86th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
“We had a little luck with the early safety car as we had already pitted and the others hadn’t and that moved us up to third. We were a bit out of sequence with the stops, so we jumped around the order a bit until we had to pit with the problem, but in terms of pure speed we were right up there.
“Both cars suffered damper problems, probably from using the kerbs, but the car should be able to take that. We were unlucky with the water leak, it was probably a case of running offline which you must do quite a lot at Le Mans and it’s just bad luck we picked up some debris.
“I’m actually relatively happy with the result as we were very competitive in terms of lap time, we were on par with everyone, the BoP was okay, and the leading Porsche just got very lucky, not once but three times. For me personally I was very content with the setup and it was a good race.
“The driver’s parade was really impressive. I had heard all about it, but it was so much crazier than I had thought. I had all sorts of crazy stuff to sign, even some body parts! Someone also even brought an air intake from their BMW road car, so it was an hour of pure joy I would say.”