Driving a proper race car is extremely difficult for the inexperienced. It isn’t the power, nor is it the complication of the controls that make it difficult. It’s the counter-intuitive style of driving in which more speed actually means more control. On the road, if you’re going to fast for a corner, you can feel it an instinctively hit the brakes to slow down. Do so in a race car and bad things await. That’s because in modern race cars, advanced aerodynamics and ultra-sticky tires actually require more speed work properly. So the more you push it, the better it drives and safer it becomes.
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Matt Farah, of The Smoking Tire and The Drive, recently had to deal with this conundrum in the brand-new BMW M6 GT3 race car owned by Turner Motorsports. Farah has driven race cars before, so he understands the concept of speed=grip. In the past, he had to just hope that he was going fast enough for the tires to have enough heat to grip. Now, Turner’s M6 GT3 has a little LCD indicator to tell the driver if the tires are hot enough, by showing digital tires going from yellow to green, the latter being optimal temperature. However, Farah is color blind, so he had a bit of an issue reading the display while driving a 550 hp racing car.
It turns out that Farah did just fine managing tire heat and turned in a respectable lap time at Palmer Motorsport Park in Massachusetts. While the new BMW M6 GT3 is the biggest, most powerful and fastest GT3 car BMW has ever built, it’s also probably the easiest to drive. It has incredible stability and tenacious grip, making it a peach to push hard. It’s also very confidence inspiring.
But the best part of the driving experience has to be the noise. Without any sound deadening material or extra thick glass or any Active Sound technology, you hear absolutely everything the engine and gearbox are doing. It’s an orchestra of mechanical noise and it sounds brilliant. From the bark and roar of the engine at startup to the gear-whine of the gearbox, the M6 GT3 is an incredible car to simply listen to.
Check out this new video from The Drive and watch Farah push the M6 GT3 as hard as he’s willing to. After all, he does admit that he’s gotten this far in his career from not bending any metal on expensive race cars. I feel ya, Farah, I’d do the same thing.