Journalists test drive the winning BMW M4 DTM racing car

Racing | December 12th, 2014 by 1
bmw m4 dtm journalist 750x500

A small handful of journalists from around the world were allowed to sample the BMW M4 DTM racing car at the Monteblanco racetrack in the …

A small handful of journalists from around the world were allowed to sample the BMW M4 DTM racing car at the Monteblanco racetrack in the south of Spain.

They were offered three timed laps followed by a further four timed laps and after their runs, BMW would compare the data with 2014 DTM Winner Marco Wittmann. Pushing hard, then, was a given — but not hard enough to risk wadding up a million-dollar piece of BMW machinery.

For Yahoo Autos, Alex Loyd describes his experience behind this phenomenal racing car:

bmw m4 dtm journalist 750x500

They need a lap to warm up, during which you have no brakes at all. Once heated, around 60 lbs. of brake pressure is required to utilize them properly. If you comply, the rate at which it sheds speed is spectacular; turn 1 is a second gear, 40 mph hairpin, and you enter around 155 mph in sixth gear. First you see the 300-meter board, which you completely ignore. Then you see the 200, and you start merely contemplating the upcoming bend. At 100 meters? Nope, keep going, to around 90, where in a brief second your insides try to burst out of your throat. (Just look at my head in the video, you can see the incredible force under braking — something like 3g’s worth.)

Then you have the cornering load, which is plainly ridiculous. On tight turns, the car has too much understeer, which is something the team has been plagued with all season long (the product of a front-engined, rear-wheel-drive layout perhaps?) On power down, traction can get a bit squirmy, especially on some of the bumpier, slower sections. In fact, the whole Monteblanco circuit is lined with bumps, accentuating the DTM’s rock-hard platform. Curbs aren’t very usable. Bouncing around in the cockpit feels somewhat frantic, but the car is approachable and easy to drive, helping me get comfortable.

After a mere three laps, I’m in the pits looking at data hung from an F1-like computer screen within the car, and chatting to the champ Wittmann, about what I’m feeling. The time difference between the two of us is clear, and expected. Brake later, and trust the immense downforce in the high-speed sections.

Back out I go feeling like at least I now know which way the track goes. Four laps go by quickly as I start to push and feel good. I carry more speed than I dare into the fast turn 8, a 90-degree right bend that you’d swear requires a brake and a downshift. In most other race cars, it would, but in the DTM you simply release the throttle fractionally in fourth gear, well north of 100 mph, turn in, squeeze the throttle back down and hang on. The car sucks to the tarmac as if it’s the world’s most powerful Dyson. It sticks, and you sail off into the following turn with barely a second to catch your breath. Repeat. And then repeat again.

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