This year’s Motul Petit Le Mans, which took place in November, was a momentous occasion. Not because of any of the racing, rather because it was the final showing of the BMW M8 GTE in IMSA professional racing. Do you know what that means? No more Big M8 meme fodder.
- Car: BMW M8 GTE
- Location: Watkins Glen, New York
- Photog: Unknown (used with permission from BMW USA)
- Camera: Unknown
If you haven’t kept up with nerdy-as-heck motorsports memes, Big M8 is one that’s captivated enthusiasts ever since the latest-generation BMW M8 made its debut in GT racing. The reasoning behind this wonderful and hilarious cultural phenomenon is that the M8 is way larger than any other race car in the IMSA GTLM class. Compared to its classmates, the Porsche 911 RSR and Corvette C8.R, it’s just so freaking big. So, people made light of this by photoshopping it to look even bigger than its competition, and many yuck-yucks ensued.
Memes aside, it will be a bit of a bummer to see the M8 GTE absent from the 2022 season and beyond. It will be replaced by the new G82 M4 GT3, which will also run in the GTD class with some alterations to its setup. Apparently, BMW’s strategy from here on out is to make the M4 a sort of Swiss Army Knife of racecar classing.
The M8 GTE’s final showing in IMSA racing was at the Petit Le Mans back in early November. Team RLL was the final team to campaign the bulky Bavarian beast and got one of its two entries onto the bottom of the GTLM podium.
Team RLL actually had a lot of success with the M8 GTE over the years. BMW’s media site has a nice quote that sums up its hit ratio pretty well, stated by none other than Team Principal and accomplished pro-racer Bobby Rahal a few weeks before the Petit: “Our racing programme with the BMW M8 GTE certainly was a great project for us,” he said, according to the release. “Winning the 24 Hours of Daytona not once, but twice has to be the highlight. And to be able to win it two years in a row is a tremendous comment about the BMW M8 GTE. We’ve had a lot of really good races with it. The M8 has been a fabulous car for us to race and it was really well done in terms of the design of it to begin with which I think is why it has been successful. All in all we have to look back fondly at our program history with the BMW M8 GTE and would like to end on a high note with victory at Petit Le Mans.”
Pour one out for the M8 GTE.
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