BMW Motorsport continued its development work on the new BMW M6 GT3 with an extensive programme of testing in Monteblanco and Portimão. Experienced BMW works drivers completed many valuable test kilometres at the wheel of the new challenger for the GT and endurance racing scene and were involved in important groundwork on the set-up of the BMW M6 GT3. Lucas Luhr (DE), Jörg Müller (DE), Jens Klingmann (DE), Dominik Baumann (AT) and Maxime Martin (BE) were all in action in Spain and Portugal.
Media representatives also received an opportunity to take a closer look at the BMW M6 GT3. The GT sports car was exhibited at the international media launch of the BMW 1 Series LCI and the BMW 6 Series LCI in Lisbon, giving the journalists there a chance to cast their eye over the new car.
“After many months of hard development work in the engineers’ offices and the workshop, we have now introduced the next phase in the development and are currently testing the BMW M6 GT3,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “Our full attention is focussed on providing our customers with a fully developed and competitive product from the word go. The ongoing tests are very important, as they lay the foundations for the next steps on the way to the car’s first race outings. We are helped in this sense by the experience of our BMW works drivers, who are able to communicate a wide range of impressions of the handling of the BMW M6 GT3 to the engineers. This work is time-consuming – but we are well on schedule.”
Frank van Meel, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW M GmbH, said: “We obviously knew that the production version, the BMW M6 Coupé, sets the bar extremely high when it comes to sportiness. It is very impressive to see how our colleagues at BMW Motorsport are able to take this excellent product as a basis, on which to develop a GT3 racing car. The high-rev V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology from the production M6, in particular, provides an ideal basis for a GT power train, and is virtually unmodified. I am confident that the BMW M6 GT3 will allow us to continue the successful tradition of BMW M and BMW Motorsport at the racetrack from 2016.”
The development of the BMW M6 GT3 incorporated all the experience that BMW Motorsport has acquired since 2010 with its successful predecessor, the BMW Z4 GT3. As a result, many improvements have been made to the new GT3 racing car, particularly when it comes to driveability and economy. One example of this is the use of the M TwinPower Turbo production engine, which generates more power and greater torque, while at the same time reducing running costs.
Jörg Müller: “The first test drives with a new car are always the most exciting, because you can make the biggest leaps forward in development during this phase. The driver’s impressions can be implemented far quicker than with a car whose development potential has largely been exhausted already. In the case of the BMW M6 GT3, it is particularly important for a lot of different drivers to lay the groundwork. After all, this is a customer car, which will have to be set up to meet the requirements of many different drivers when it comes to racing further down the line.”
Dominik Baumann: “I felt right at home from the word go in the cockpit of the BMW M6 GT3. Despite the size of the car, you have great visibility and a comfortable seat position as a driver. Given that we are still in an early stage of development, the handling is already very good. We spent most of our time working on the fundamentals.”
Jens Klingmann: “My first impression of the BMW M6 GT3 is a very positive one. In my opinion, the long wheelbase makes this car easier to drive than its predecessor. As a driver, you can tell that the BMW engineers have thought long and hard about what you need to be fast on the track when designing this car. We already have a basic set-up that is not far from what we will need in a real race. When it comes to driveability, the BMW M6 GT3 is definitely a big step forward. As a tall driver, it is also very nice to be able to relax far more behind the wheel because I have a lot more space than in any other car I have driven before. I am already looking forward to doing more testing.”
Lucas Luhr: “It fills me with pride when I am entrusted with working as a driver on such a large project as this from the outset. It is important that the basis of the car is right, and that all the changes we make have the expected effect. The developers had an outstanding and sporty basis to work with, in the form of the BMW M6 Coupé. You can feel that already in the cockpit of the BMW M6 GT3.”