The production version of the BMW M4 Coupé provided BMW Motorsport with a perfect basis for developing the DTM racing car.
The first model made its first appearance in the wind tunnel at the BMW Group’s Aero Lab on 22nd April – 13 days before the opening race of the 2013 season in Hockenheim. In the summer of 2013, while continuing with aerodynamic testing, the experts in Munich turned their attention to designing new suspension parts. The new components made their first on-track outing in December 2013 – but still within the BMW M3 DTM at that point. The final parts for the chassis of the BMW M4 DTM were in production by the turn of the year, allowing the BMW teams to assemble the first models of the new car in January and February. Three hundred days after the first test in the wind tunnel, the BMW M4 DTM took to the track for its track debut in Monteblanco on 11th February 2014.
The production version of the BMW M4 Coupé provided BMW Motorsport with a perfect basis for developing the DTM racing car. Hardly surprising, given the fact that the primary goal of the BMW M GmbH engineers working on the BMW M4 Coupé was to create a robust car suitable for use on the racetrack. Among those to make valuable contributions towards achieving this goal were DTM drivers Bruno Spengler and Timo Glock, who took part in tuning tests at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. “I am proud to have played my part in the fine-tuning,” said Spengler. “The chassis of the BMW M4 Coupé is very sporty. The feedback from the front axle is extremely direct, and the grip on the rear axle is phenomenal. This car is the ideal basis for our car in the DTM.”
The last BMW M car to roll off the assembly line at the main BMW Plant in Munich did so back in 1991. After that, production shifted to BMW Plant Regensburg. Almost 23 years later, the assembly process returned to the main factory – and just a few metres away BMW Motorsport engineers were hard at work tinkering with the racing version of the new car. However, the BMW Plants in Regensburg and Dingolfing were also involved in the development of the BMW M4 DTM. Among other things, the kilometre-long test tracks at the modern production facilities were used for aerodynamic tests. Throughout the development phase, the 2014 DTM car was to be seen at what is otherwise the venue for the exhaustive quality control checks performed on all BMW M cars.
The BMW M4 Coupé and the BMW M4 DTM lie low and flat on the tarmac. Even when stationary, the design’s powerful contours underline the performance of the two brothers. Characteristic design elements, such as the modern take on the twin headlight arrangement and distinctive twin-bar kidney grille, ensure that the car clearly stands out as a BMW M vehicle. The power dome on the bonnet is equally striking. The side of the car extends the dynamic impression created by the front end. The proportions typical of the BMW M4 Coupé, such as the long bonnet, long wheel base, set-back greenhouse and a short front overhang, formed the basis for the low and aerodynamic silhouette of the BMW M4 DTM.
Aerodynamics plays a vital role in the DTM. For this reason, the BMW Motorsport engineers devoted a lot of time to issues such as aerodynamic drag and air flow. As on the production model, the air curtains at the front of the BMW M4 DTM are designed to reduce air drag. Narrowing air ducts accelerate the airstream flowing through the front skirt, guide it systematically past the wheels, and reduce turbulence around the wheel arches. Another new feature on the BMW M4 DTM is a plate along the side channel, which lends the racing car an even more striking outline. The eye-catching contoured roofline decreases the front surface area of the BMW M4 DTM and further reduces aerodynamic drag. The flatter rear window optimises the way the airflow approaches the rear wing. The striking wing mirrors, with their twin-stalk mounts, are already a striking feature of the production model, and the mirrors on the BMW M4 DTM have also been aerodynamically optimised for the racetrack to ensure they aid efficient airflow towards the rear of the car.
The BMW M4 Coupé itself is a prime example of intelligent, lightweight construction. The high-performance sports car weighs just 1,497 kilograms when empty – that is a whole 80 kilograms less than its predecessor. This reduction of weight has a positive effect on the driving dynamics and consumption. This has been made possible by the extensive use of lightweight materials, such as carbon fibre reinforced plastic and aluminium. The use of carbon is also widespread in motor racing. Virtually the entire body of the BMW M4 DTM is made of this ultra-light and durable material. The weight reduction and consequent lowering of the centre of gravity are key to the car’s performance on the racetrack. The weight of the BMW M4 DTM, with driver, is 1,110 kilograms.
Like the BMW M4 Coupé, the racing version also meets the highest safety standards. Over 50 of the 5,000 plus parts that make up the BMW M4 DTM are standard components, which are used in all DTM cars. One of these is the carbon fibre monocoque, which sets the benchmark in terms of safety in motorsport. With an integrated tank, steel roll cage and additional crash elements, it offers the driver effective protection in case of a crash. Parts like the gearbox, clutch, dampers and rear wing are identical in all DTM cars. This also keeps a lid on development costs.
The BMW P66 engine in the BMW M4 DTM generates approx. 480 bhp with the air restrictor specified in the technical regulations. It is made up of 800 different components, consisting of 3,900 individual parts. When designing the DTM drivetrain, BMW Motorsport took full advantage of the technological know-how within the BMW Group. The high-tech foundry connected to BMW Plant Landshut accounts for the large cast parts, such as the cylinder head and crankcase – just as it does in the production of the six-cylinder in-line engine for the BMW M4 Coupé. The cast parts are coated and given the necessary heat treatment within the appropriate departments in Munich. The BMW V8 for the DTM is both a sprinter and a marathon runner. It allows the BMW M4 DTM to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/ in about three seconds. Only ten engines are permitted for all eight BMWs over the course of the entire season. Therefore, reliability is a prerequisite to success.
The engine’s power is transferred via a sequential six-speed sport gearbox, which is operated pneumatically using shift paddles mounted on the steering wheel. The gearbox is one of the standard components, which are used by all the DTM manufacturers. It has 11 final drive ratios, which allow the engineers and drivers to react to the respective circuit and engine characteristics when setting the car up.
Additional status displays and a customised layout of the controls make the steering wheel in the new BMW M4 DTM even more comfortable for the drivers to use. The individual buttons can be allocated as the driver desires. As with the racing car, the gears on the BMW M4 Coupé can also be changed using shift paddles on the steering wheel, depending upon the configuration.
Drivers of both the BMW M4 DTM and the BMW M4 Coupé can rely on the performance of modern LED headlamps. Light emitting diodes do more than simply save energy. Thanks to the significantly shorter reaction time compared to conventional filament lamps, the driver behind is given more notice when a driver in front of him is braking. And every fraction of a second counts on the racetrack. The light generated by LEDs is also very similar to sunlight, making it particularly easy on the eye.
After battling through day, night and back to day, both cars finished strong. The 55 car and Joey Hand drove hard to the line for a 2nd place finish, chasing down the works 911 Porsche, but time ran out before he could attempt to pass it .
The 56 car would finish in the 4th. spot, a proud day for the entire team.
More details and our press release will be posted soon.
The lights are on at the speedway as teams race into the night. Dirk Werner is currently in the 56 car (white) running in 6th, while Maxime Martin runs 7th in the 55 car (black). Both cars have run a total of 147 laps so far with everything going well.
2014 heralds a new era in motorsport with the United SportsCar Championship (USCC).
The USCC is the combination of GRAND-AM Road Racing and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). The organiser of the series is the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). After the BMW Z4 GTE’s successful debut in the ALMS in 2013, Team Principal Bobby Rahal’s outfit will now represent BMW Motorsport and BMW of North America in the USCC.
The USCC race calendar consists of 13 events. The weekends will see up to 60 cars line up on the grid, divided into four different classes: Prototype Class (P), Prototype Challenge (PC), Gran Turismo Le Mans (GTLM) and Gran Turismo Daytona (GTD). Four weekends will highlight specific classes with 11 races counting toward each class championship.
At the wheel of the two BMW Z4 GTEs will be four of the same drivers as last year, in the form of Dirk Müller, Bill Auberlen, Joey Hand and John Edwards. Maxime Martin is replaced at BMW Team RLL by Andy Priaulx in what is something of a reunion: Priaulx and BMW Team RLL won the GT class at the 24 Hours of Sebring together in 2011.
Joey hand pits the 55 car from 3rd place and Andy Priaulx takes over and rejoins in 4th place right behind John Edwards who is currently running 3rd in car 56. 494 laps are complete with about 6 hours left in the race.
Turner Motorsports starts 12th in the all new Z4 GTD
2014 will mark the fourth consecutive year that Turner Motorsport will compete in the Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona. Turner has assembled a stellar driver lineup to accompany Paul Dalla Lana (CA) in the blue and yellow No. 94 Z4 GTD. Dalla Lana has been the team anchor throughout Turner’s four Rolex 24 hour efforts beginning in 2010.
As with previous years, the Turner lineup will include drivers from around the world including BMW Motorsport Factory Driver Augusto Farfus (BR) and Blancpain Endurance series star Markus Palttala (FI). Dane Cameron (US), one of the most talented young drivers in the North American sports car scene today, will also be a part for this year’s star-studded Rolex 24 Team. Dane Cameron will also co-drive with Paul Dalla Lana for the full TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season.
“I’m very happy to join Turner Motorsport for the Rolex 24. The new championship looks mega and it’s great to be part of its first chapter in Daytona, especially with such an established team. I know the Z4 well and it’s an awesome car. We have a very strong driver line-up and I hope we’ll be there amongst the leaders when the sun rises on Sunday morning,” said Markus Palttala.
Augusto Farfus, a BMW Motorsport factory driver since 2007 and DTM competitor for the past two years, finished second in the 2013 DTM Points standings in his No. 16 BMW with three wins and one pole position throughout the season. Farfus joins Turner motivated to add another 24 Hour victory to his endurance racing resume after winning the Nurburgring and Dubai 24 Hour in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
“It’s a pleasure to be back in Daytona.” Augusto Farfus commented. “We have been trying to make the Turner/Augusto combination work for the last several years, and finally we managed to come together this year. Our Z4 may not be the fastest car on oval, but along the infield we can be very competitive. Our driver lineup is very competitive and team is pushing very hard for the race. Can’t wait to get the green flag!”
“Last year we assembled a very strong BMW driver lineup for the Rolex 24,” said Will Turner. “Unfortunately incidental contact with both cars did not allow us the results we wanted. After last season’s success in the highly competitive GT class with three race wins and more than five podiums, as a team we know we have the infrastructure win. Unfortunately the balance of performance (BOP) that IMSA released on Friday does not favor our Z4. So we need to focus on consistency (and staying out of trouble). We have learned a lot these past four years running cars in one of the most grueling races in the world – the main thing we will focus on is racing without incident and trying to be around for the finish.”
The 52nd running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona will take the green flag at 2:30pm on Saturday, January 25th televised live from Daytona International Speedway on Fox. Be sure to Tune In as the race will be televised for a total of 15 hours on Fox Networks. The full TV coverage plan is as follows:
Saturday January 25th 2-4pm ET on Fox 4-9pm ET on Fox Sports 2
Overnight (Jan 25th-26th) 9pm-7am ET on IMSA.com (includes live images, in car cameras and announcers.)