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      06-14-2010, 03:19 PM   #1
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Arrow Car and Driver: ALMS M3 GT2 Race Car Test Drive

If you haven't checked this out, this is an awesome review with a test drive on the ALMS GT car .

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...r-feature_test

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[size=3]BMW M3 GT Race Car - Feature Test
Class Warfare: We go to Sebring for a 154-mph blast in a big-winged BMW M3 GT.


BY MARK GILLIES, PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARC URBANO
June 2010

In these dark economic times, the number of automakers willing to throw vast sums of money at auto racing has dwindled. Honda, Toyota, BMW, and Renault have either walked away from Formula 1 or reduced their financial commitment. Automakers have cut back the cash they have been spending in NASCAR. And in sports-car racing, only Audi and Peugeot are running fully funded programs in the fastest prototype classes, with more prudent efforts coming from Aston Martin and Honda Performance Development, which uses the Acura badge.

Yet, farther back in the 2010 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) field, where the cost of entry is lower, there is genuine manufacturer involvement in the Grand Touring class. These cars actually look similar to what we see on the street. That involvement can be covert, taking the form of development help to top privateer teams, as Ferrari does with Risi Competizione and Porsche with Flying Lizard. Or it can be a full-blooded factory effort, as with the Chevrolets and the BMWs. It can also be something in between, like the Jaguar-backed RSR team.

It’s exciting that the best competition in sports-car racing in North America this year will occur between real-looking cars rather than airplanes with wheels. All six of the cars that run in GT—BMW M3, Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, Ferrari F430, Ford GT-R, Jaguar XKR, and Porsche 911 GT3—already look great before the teams add big wings, wide wheel arches, deep front spoilers, and war paint. Dressed for battle, these cars are stunners, none more so than the M3 GT.

According to the rules for Grand Touring–class racing [see below], the M3 has to share a reasonable amount of components with its street cousin. The steel body shell is the same as the regular car’s but with a serious-looking roll cage welded inside. The engine has to retain production castings and the same displacement as the M3’s 4.0-liter V-8, although BMW changed the internal parts, switched to a flat-plane crank, and opened up the ports in the cylinder heads. Output is up 56 horsepower to 470.

Rest of test drive review here: http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...r-feature_test

Last edited by erio; 06-14-2010 at 03:37 PM.
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      06-15-2010, 06:24 PM   #2
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Very interesting article.

However, according to SpeedTV, this part is not entirely accurate:

The suspension layout is supposed to remain stock, but BMW caught a break from the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO)—it sets the Le Mans (and ALMS) rules— because its strut front and multilink rear setup would have been uncompetitive against rivals that have control-arm suspensions. Hence the M3 GT has specially fabricated control arms at all four corners.


According to SpeedTV, the cars that ran at Le Mans were somewhat different from the ALMS cars. In particular, they had the front strut/rear multilink suspension instead of the ALMS double-wishbone suspension. When asked whether this was true, M. Theissen dodged the question.
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      06-16-2010, 09:42 AM   #3
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^^^ interesing info drivendriven. And thanks for posting the link erio - great article.

Does anyone know how many M3 GT2 race cars exist worldwide? If I am not mistaken, there are there two in ALMS, two in European Le Mans. FIA? Others? I assume the art car was a one-time deal that will be put in a museum.
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      06-16-2010, 01:59 PM   #4
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I wonder how many members here participate in GT4 races....

I know this is dumb to ask, but are E90's not allowed to compete in these events? (i really dont have a clue about this stuff, but it has my interest)
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      06-16-2010, 02:50 PM   #5
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If they put a flat plane crank in the stock car I'll buy three of them tomorrow. Seriously.
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      06-16-2010, 03:33 PM   #6
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E90 320si 's participate,but of course not in the ALMS nor in the GT2 class in Europe..there are certain classes cars participate in and then you'll have class winners and an overall winner
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      06-16-2010, 04:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drivendriver View Post
Very interesting article.

However, according to SpeedTV, this part is not entirely accurate:

The suspension layout is supposed to remain stock, but BMW caught a break from the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO)—it sets the Le Mans (and ALMS) rules— because its strut front and multilink rear setup would have been uncompetitive against rivals that have control-arm suspensions. Hence the M3 GT has specially fabricated control arms at all four corners.


According to SpeedTV, the cars that ran at Le Mans were somewhat different from the ALMS cars. In particular, they had the front strut/rear multilink suspension instead of the ALMS double-wishbone suspension. When asked whether this was true, M. Theissen dodged the question.
Yes the rear suspension is different. In fact, I think it was different at the the French le Mans as opposed to the 24hr Nurgburgring....that's part of what got them in trouble. This is what I understood from the interview of the M Director (Dr. M. Thiessen) during the 24 hr French le Mans. You would think they would know the regulations well in advance to prepare/test the car?

Last edited by erio; 06-16-2010 at 05:16 PM.
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      06-16-2010, 04:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erio View Post
the M Director (Dr. M. Thiessen) during the 24 hr French le Mans.
Thats really cool, that the M director is Dr. M. ROFLOL thats awesome
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      06-16-2010, 08:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiemyster View Post
Thats really cool, that the M director is Dr. M. ROFLOL thats awesome
You think that's cool, well then you'll love the fact my first name starts with M, the name of the company I work for starts with M, I drive an M and my other car also starts with "M".

This letter is controlling my life. HELP!!
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      06-16-2010, 10:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by cotenseto View Post
You think that's cool, well then you'll love the fact my first name starts with M, the name of the company I work for starts with M, I drive an M and my other car also starts with "M".

This letter is controlling my life. HELP!!
rest assured bro, M is the most powerful letter in the world.
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      06-17-2010, 12:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drivendriver View Post
Very interesting article.

However, according to SpeedTV, this part is not entirely accurate:

The suspension layout is supposed to remain stock, but BMW caught a break from the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO)—it sets the Le Mans (and ALMS) rules— because its strut front and multilink rear setup would have been uncompetitive against rivals that have control-arm suspensions. Hence the M3 GT has specially fabricated control arms at all four corners.


According to SpeedTV, the cars that ran at Le Mans were somewhat different from the ALMS cars. In particular, they had the front strut/rear multilink suspension instead of the ALMS double-wishbone suspension. When asked whether this was true, M. Theissen dodged the question.
In the ALMS (American Le Mans Series), the M3 GT2 has double wish bone front and rear. ("caught a break" part)

In the 24hr Le Mans, the M3 GT2 was only approved McPherson strut (same as stock) in the front. Not sure about the rear.

I think the article was referring to the configuration in ALMS.
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      06-17-2010, 09:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiemyster View Post
I know this is dumb to ask, but are E90's not allowed to compete in these events? (i really dont have a clue about this stuff, but it has my interest)
Good question. Not sure if four door cars are allowed in ALMS/LeMans/FIA GT2. Can't recall ever seeing one, but that doesn't mean there hasn't been one. As another person pointed out above, sedans are very common in various touring car series, including the WTCC e90.
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      06-17-2010, 12:21 PM   #13
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I saw this review as well but what i do not understand is the 70-0 in 172 feet. Car and drivers test on my car was 152 feet. Now why would my car brake better then a race car?

Car and Driver M roaster review: http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...ster-road_test
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      06-19-2010, 10:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenPlease View Post
If they put a flat plane crank in the stock car I'll buy three of them tomorrow. Seriously.

+1... I wish they would
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      06-19-2010, 11:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shorestyle031 View Post
I saw this review as well but what i do not understand is the 70-0 in 172 feet. Car and drivers test on my car was 152 feet. Now why would my car brake better then a race car?

Car and Driver M roaster review: http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...ster-road_test
Most likely they didn't have the brakes and slicks up to race temps.

T
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