BMW M4 GT3 has made "quantum leap" over M6 at Norisring

The Norisring will no longer be a bogey track for BMW following the introduction of the more agile M4 GT3 model, believes the marque’s development driver Jens Klingmann.

BMW M4 GT3 has made "quantum leap" over M6 at Norisring
Listen to this article

The tight and twisty confines of the Nuremberg street circuit exposed the weaknesses of the BMW M6 GT3 last year, with the best of the Bavarian brand’s four factory-supported cars placing a distant 15th out of 19 entries in second qualifying.

The M6's race pace wasn’t much better around the short 2.3km circuit, ending any hopes of Marco Wittmann scoring a third title in the season finale from eventual champion Maximilian Gotz.

Much of the development of the new M4 GT3, which entered service at the start of 2022, was focused on making it as versatile as possible to tackle a wide number of GT3 championships around the world.

The M4 still remains a large car compared to its rivals and actually has a longer wheelbase than its predecessor, but Klingmann is upbeat about how the car will perform in its first appearance at the Norisring this weekend.

"I don't think you have to go there with a headache," he told Motorsport.com’s sister title Motorsport-Total.com. "It's still a BMW, but the concept of the car is quite different.

"Of course, the BMW is still not as agile around a first-gear corner as a Porsche, because physically you can't do that. But fortunately we have made a real quantum leap.

"At the beginning I also thought, ‘will it be that good’? Because a Porsche simply has a small wheelbase, or an Audi is a small car.

"But a Mercedes is also a huge car - and it works on almost all tracks. So the basic concept that we have a bigger car should not be an excuse. And it's not, because the car is much more agile.”

Sheldon van der Linde, Schubert Motorsport BMW M4 GT3

Sheldon van der Linde, Schubert Motorsport BMW M4 GT3

Photo by: Andreas Beil

Klingmann also cited BMW’s GT Daytona class victory in the Long Beach round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in April as proof that the German manufacturer has overcome the shortcoming of the M6 with its new GT3 racer.

"The biggest weakness [of the M6] was the slower the speed and the tighter the corner, the harder we found it to rotate the car,” explained Klingmann. “The car always seemed very sluggish, even though it is the same size as the M4. On top of that, we had very high tyre wear on the rear axle.

“The M6 GT3 was quite difficult there [at Long Beach] because it is so tight and angled. We had the biggest problems there. And if [the M4] works there, then it will also work at the Norisring.”

Read Also:

The M4 GT3 has a wheelbase measuring 2.917m, which is 16mm more than its predecessor. By contrast, the Porsche 911 GT3 R has a much shorter wheelbase at 2.463m, offering a theoretical advantage in tight corners.

However, project manager Achim Klein feels a longer wheelbase has its benefits and there were other reasons why the M6 struggled with handling on street circuits.

“I believe that the conclusion that the special handling of the M6 is linked to the wheelbase is simply wrong," Klein told Motorsport.com. "We did have problems in tight corners but that wasn't because of the wheelbase.

"For me, a car with a long wheelbase is always preferable to one with a short wheelbase. That creates a certain stability.

"I think a longer wheelbase always helps if you get the overall car set-up right."

BMW leads both the drivers' and the teams' standings heading to the Norisring, largely due to Sheldon van der Linde's impressive double win at the Lausitzring in May.

shares
comments

Related video

Lamborghini driver Perera joins GRT for Norisring DTM
Previous article

Lamborghini driver Perera joins GRT for Norisring DTM

Next article

Luca Stolz: The DTM’s Raikkonen turning heads with Mercedes

Luca Stolz: The DTM’s Raikkonen turning heads with Mercedes
The longest-serving Red Bull driver revealing F1’s true brutality Prime

The longest-serving Red Bull driver revealing F1’s true brutality

His day of days in Formula 1 came at Indianapolis in 2005, a day grand prix racing strives to forget. But Patrick Friesacher, the long-serving Red Bull lieutenant, remains active today driving a two-seater that provides ordinary people with a glimpse of an F1 car’s savage potential, including this writer...

Formula 1
Jun 2, 2022
How the DTM has come back stronger from its Norisring nadir Prime

How the DTM has come back stronger from its Norisring nadir

OPINION: Questionable driving standards and farcical team orders meant the DTM's first season under GT3 regulations ended under a cloud. But the organisation has responded firmly by banning team orders and welcomed new manufacturers, making for an intriguing season ahead as new and returning names prepare for battle.

DTM
Mar 30, 2022
The remarkable career of 'classy' champion Martin Tomczyk Prime

The remarkable career of 'classy' champion Martin Tomczyk

Over two decades as a factory driver with Audi and BMW, Martin Tomczyk earned the respect of teammates and rivals as a hard but fair racer. After calling time on his racing career, the 2011 DTM champion sat down with Motorsport.com to look back.

GT
Mar 5, 2022
Jamie Green: The other Hamilton conqueror seeking career revival Prime

Jamie Green: The other Hamilton conqueror seeking career revival

On his rise through the ranks before reaching Formula 1, Lewis Hamilton was usually a cut above the rest. But he never truly asserted himself over a Mercedes-backed fellow Briton who traded single-seaters for touring cars and is now seeking new opportunities after a year largely spent on the sidelines.

DTM
Dec 18, 2021
How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions Prime

How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions

OPINION: The scenes at the Norisring as Mercedes used blatant team orders to secure the first DTM title of the new GT3 era totally undermined the credibility of the championship. But as well as overshadowing the season, it also presents uncomfortable questions to series bosses about the direction it is headed in.

DTM
Oct 12, 2021
How Audi's new DTM flagbearer is closing on his "childhood dream" Prime

How Audi's new DTM flagbearer is closing on his "childhood dream"

Having learned the ropes in GT3 alongside Rene Rast, Kelvin van der Linde is in line to take up the three-time champion's baton as Audi's new DTM king. From humble origins in South Africa, it's been a remarkable journey so far for the current series leader, but he knows that the 2021 title is a long way from settled just yet.

DTM
Sep 18, 2021
The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive Prime

The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive

Switching to GT3 regulations marked a fresh start for the DTM in 2021, but it has also drawn a line in the sand against other series using similar cars by engaging AVL Racing to develop a bespoke Balance of Performance system. Here’s how it works.

DTM
Jul 23, 2021
The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars Prime

The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars

OPINION: Facing collapse last year, the DTM has shifted its philosophy from a championship for silhouette-based touring cars to GT machines not too dissimilar to those racing across multiple series worldwide. But despite some initial BoP-based teething troubles, there were some pleasant findings as the 'new DTM' got underway at Monza

DTM
Jun 22, 2021