Markus Reiterberger thinks there is no reason why his BMW team cannot go on to win the EWC at this week’s Suzuka 8 Hours Coca-Cola Endurance Championship.
But while the German is optimistic about their chances of further success in the FIM World Endurance Championship, he also expects stiff opposition from several top Japanese riders as well as from their teams, as well as regular EWC contenders.
“Our approach is the same for the eight-hour race as for a
24 hours: always on the attack “says Reiterberger.“Suzuka is unique. It is a very important race for the Japanese. They have a lot of tests and experience, tires and circuits behind them. So the job will be difficult for us against an experienced Japanese manufacturer, as the only European brand. We will do everything we can and still we are looking for the world title. We want to win, of course we want to be on the podium – that is always the case. We will see if it is possible after the first tests in Suzuka. But we have the team, the drivers and the equipment.
Reiterberger flew to Japan after scoring two goals in the German IDM Championship at the end of July at the Schleiz track. He admitted that Suzuka will be a completely different challenge.
“I have already driven twice at Suzuka with the Penz13 team, once in testing and once in the race. The method is interesting but very difficult to learn. Jeremy already knows him, Illya still has to learn him. And I’m sure I’ll still need some time, too, to get back into the swing of things. I am very confident. First we need to get a good bike setup, and then we need a good understanding of how the overall package of machines, tires and conditions work. The heat will definitely be a challenge. According to the forecast, we can expect 32 ° C and humidity between 20 and 40%. You feel like you’re used to it but considering the normal weather at Suzuka, with 40 degrees and very high humidity, then of course it’s going to be very difficult.”