BMW has begun testing its latest customer car, the M4 GT3, with the first runs taking place at the company’s test center in Miramas, France.
“It is always an emotional moment when a newly developed BMW race car takes to the track for the first time,” said BMW motorsport director Jens Marquardt. “This time, however, I am particularly proud. Given the difficult conditions of the past few months, it is quite remarkable that we have managed to implement our development program as planned, and while complying with the BMW Group’s strict safety and hygiene regulations throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, have managed to stick to the date originally envisaged for the roll-out of the BMW M4 GT3.
“Thanks to the very close and intensive collaboration with our colleagues at BMW M, we have been able to use the basis provided by the new BMW M4 production model to develop a race car that has everything it needs to continue the successful history of BMW Motorsport as a new GT icon.”
The race car and production car were developed in parallel, and BMW said both are now in the midst of an intensive period of testing out on the track. The BMW M4 GT3 will contest its first races, for the purpose of testing under competitive conditions, in 2021 before a full campaign in 2022.
The roll-out in Dingolfing was a significant point in the development process, which began at the start of 2019 when the first modeling and simulation was undertaken. The engine, generating more than 500hp, took to the test stand in Munich, Germany, in February, while initial tests were performed in the BMW Group wind tunnel from the middle of the year, using a 60% scale model of the car.
The first test chassis of the BMW M4 GT3 was produced at the BMW Group plant in Regensburg, Germany, in early 2020. After that, the test car used for the roll-out was assembled within roughly six weeks in the BMW Motorsport workshop.