While BMW has yet to make an official statement whether the car producer will continue to compete in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, it looks like the Germans are working on a new car for the championship.
Reports are that BMW will use the M6 GT3 GTLM for the 2016 championship.
Comparing the two cars is the best indicator why BMW has opted to change the racing car. For comparison, the Z4 GTE is powered by a 4.4 liter V8 engine that produces 490hp. The car weighs 1,230kg. The M6 GTE GTLM, on the other hand, is a faster, but also a heavier car. Under the hood, the BMW M6 GT3 GTLM features a 4.4 liter twin-turbo V8 engine that can produce more than 500hp. The little bump in speed is complemented by a six-speed transmission made exclusively for racing.
According to several sources, even though BMW is still in talks with IMSA about homologation of the next car in the championship, the company is already in talks with a European partner for constructing the vehicle that will take on the race tracks.
In order to be eligible for competition, the M6 GT3 will have to take part in a performance test in France, scheduled for next month. The FIA Balance and performance test is mandatory for all manufacturers that want their cars to be legal for the IMSA competition. The test will take place in Ladoux, France, where all 2016 GTE cars are being tested.
BMW has instructed its engineers to make sure that the new M6 GT3 GTLM car is worthy for the race tracks and put driver’s safety on top priority. The engineers have developed a safety cell, which should help the drivers and reduce the risk of being hurt or injured. Driver’s safety was one of the biggest problems that the company had to deal with, in the past.
Reports are BMW will debut the new car during the Rolex 24 race track, scheduled for January at Daytona. The track will kick off the TUDOR championship season for 2016. For its new GT3 car, the German manufacturer is pursuing and pushing for IMSA-only homologation.
“The Z4 GTE is a completely different car from the GT3 and that was a painful exercise we had to go through. That was the reason BMW was fully in favor of [GT] convergence”, said Marquardt, adding that it was a mistake according to his beliefs.
At the moment, BMW has two cars in the TUDOR championship, both Z4 GTE models. The Z4 that BMW uses for GTLM competition is in the third and final year of competition.