Gutierrez stars to make Q3 for the first time

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Esteban Gutierrez proved to be the big surprise of qualifying in Singapore today, making the top ten for the first time in his Formula One career.

Gutierrez explained on Thursday that he would be piloting an aggressive strategy for qualifying in Singapore, and it paid off as he ran just once at the end of Q2 with low fuel to finish P7, before opting not to run in the final session due to a lack of tires.

Speaking after the session, Gutierrez said: “At a certain stage, you set certain goals. You keep working persistently, improving, improving, improving, and then suddenly you’re only missing one thing, and this thing we knew it was qualifying.

“Now we come to Singapore knowing we needed to be more aggressive, and then to achieve it better than expected it’s very special. It’s a very good step in terms of confidence.”

The Mexican driver also outqualified his more-established teammate, Nico Hulkenberg, who dropped out in Q2, finishing P11.

Despite making the final session, Gutierrez did not run as he had run out of tires.

“I run out of tires. Getting a feeling for the new tires is really a challenge, when you go out only for one lap and to feel the track improvement and feel everything… it’s something I’m lacking of experience, so I needed to have this experience, to go maximum for qualifying and to really use everything we have. This is what we did and it paid off.”

BMW confirms IMSA, WEC GTE line-ups for 2018

BMW Motorsport
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BMW has confirmed its driver line-ups for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship campaigns.

In an announcement made at its end-of-year Sports Trophy event on Friday night, BMW firmed up its roster across its factory WEC team and its customer RLL Racing IMSA squad.

Two of the 2018 BMW M8 GTEs will enter the WEC next year, joining a hotly-contested GTE-Pro class that already features Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin and Ford.

BMW factory drivers Antonio Felix da Costa, Nick Catsburg, Augusto Farfus and Martin Tomczyk will share the two cars across the 13-month ‘super season’.

The quartet will be joined by Tom Blomqvist, Alexander Sims and Philipp Eng for the 24 Hours of Le Mans

In IMSA, the RLL Racing team will once again field Sims and John Edwards, who will be joined by the incoming Connor De Phillippi and Jesse Krohn.

BMW also confirmed on Friday night that Tom Blomqvist would see out the Formula E season with its Andretti-affiliated team, having been benched for Kamui Kobayashi in Hong Kong.