BMW Australia has pulled the covers off its factory backed Team SRM M4 GT4 caged race car, ahead of its planned entry into the Bathurst 12 Hour and Australian GT Championship.
That’s about the same as the F82 M4 GTS road car. The M4 GT4 uses the standard engine (with around 321kW instead of the GTS’ 368kW), the standard dual-clutch transmission, even the same starter button. Plus it has air vents from a Mini, which fit better.
The philosophy behind the GT4 class is cost-effective GT racing, with a focus on sharing technology with road cars. By contrast, GT3-class cars are only about 20 per cent road car.
Given that Australia has the highest proportional sales of M road cars in the world, the marketing benefits to having factory backed racers across various GT categories are obvious.
BMW Team SRM says it has been working on securing one of the brand new GT4-spec racers since BMW first revealed plans to join the burgeoning entry-level GT category, and in the end was part of the early allocation when production commenced in Munich.
The Team SRM car has now arrived in Melbourne, with preparations for next February’s Bathurst 12 Hour ready to begin following a successful shakedown test at Winton, comprising about 400km of circuit work led by Four-time Bathurst 1000 winner and BMW Team SRM boss, Steve Richards.
“The experience gained with the BMW Team SRM GT3 programme has encouraged us to further the relationship,” said BMW Group Australia CEO, Marc Werner – himself a super-keen follower of motorsport.
“The M4 GT4 enables us to take it to the next level. As well as competing alongside the M6 GT3 in the 2018 Australian GT Championship, the M4 GT4’s ability to participate in the GT Trophy Series further expands the motorsport possibilities for our passionate BMW M customer base.
“Being so closely related to the M4 road car, the BMW M4 GT4 is an ideal step for those wanting to progress from track days to racing,” he said.
Richards added: “It’s so easy to run. When we picked it up from the airport, I drove it onto the trailer.
“Everything about it is simple; it’s perfect for an amateur racer to put on the trailer, head to the track, have a drive, and then put it back in the shed. It’s a very user-friendly, low-overhead car.
“It’s a proper racecar, too. It’s based on the fantastic road car platform but it’s not a production car – it’s built from the ground up as a racer.
“Its corner speed is fantastic. There were some Supercars and some Carrera Cup cars running during the test, and through the corners the M4 GT4 was as fast, if not faster, than anything else.
A second M4 GT4 has also recently arrived in the country and is now in the possession of new owner – and former BMW Motorsport racer – Tony Longhurst.
Engine: Six-cylinder inline, four valves
Technology: M TwinPower turbo technology, direct injection, Valvetronic
Capacity: 2979 cc
Output: “More than” 431 hp (depending on balance of performance)
Engine management: Production engine electronics – output via power stick can be adjusted according to defined BoP
Exhaust system: Motorsport-specific lightweight exhaust system
Fuel Tank: FT3 safety tank
Capacity: 125 litres (depending on regulations)
– DMSB-certified welded safety roll cage (compliant with FIA regulations),
– Roof, doors and bonnet made from CFRP
– Makrolon discs (heated front disc)
– Motorsport front splitters made from CFRP
– Motorsport rear wing made from CFRP, customisable
– Motorsport dive plane made from CFRP
– Air jack system
– Bonnet and hatchback quick-release lock
– Lightweight motorsport wiring harness
– Motorsport-specific control connections
– Adjustable motorsport stabilisers front and rear
– Specially adapted motorsport shock absorbers (Öhlins) front and rear
– Springs, each with three spring rates for the front and rear axle available
– Seven-speed dual clutch transmission with motorsport software
– Mechanical differential lock with separate cooling
– Purpose-built output shafts with wheel bearings adapted for motorsport (rear axle)
Stability systems specifically adapted for BMW Motorsport (DSC/ABS)
– 11 x 18 inch alloy wheels
– Tyre dimensions: 300/660 R18
– Front: 6-piston, fixed calliper front, AP Racing
Diameter of brake disks: 390 mm
– Rear: 4-piston, fixed calliper rear, AP Racing
Diameter of brake disks: 355 mm
– Balance beams for adjusting the brake balance at the front and rear
– Double-suction brake air cooling