BMW is continuing to invest in its customer racing program, and another new race car is on the way. Since the M235i Racing became available back in 2017, popularity for BMW’s entry-level race car has soared, and racing grids across the U.S. and Europe have become home to stronger BMW representation ever since. Following up on the success of the M235i Racing, BMW released the M240i Racing last year, and the updated B58-powered model has since become quite popular, and proven itself a worthy competitor on the circuit as well.
BMW Motorsport offers more potent race cars, like the M4 GT4 and M6 GT3, both of which also enjoy a strong presence in their respective classes. But the cost and other barriers to entry to such a high level of competition still mean the market for such vehicles is rather limited. With the previous 2 Series M Performance Racing models, BMW has provided an avenue into motorsport that is attracting more individuals to the sport, an excellent stepping stone for those looking to move beyond spec and club racing.
We reported on BMW announcing development of what will be an M2 Competition-based vehicle that is built specifically for the customer racing program last month. In the time since, BMW has released camouflaged press photos of the car, and this past weekend, brought it out to the VLN Endurance Championship at the Nürburgring, where it completed 28 laps for the sole purpose of gathering real-world data in a real-world race environment.
What could be referred to as the M2 Racing has also already completed testing procedures at other tracks, like Portimão and BMW’s own facility in Miramas, France. After running at the Nürburgring, BMW Motorsport Junior drivers reported positive results and a great experience, adding that driving the new car was a lot of fun—as we might expect.
The M2 Racing brings a number of improvements to the table over its predecessors. While the M235i racing used the respected N55 engine, and the M240i the slightly more robust B58, the M2 Competition, the model upon which the M2 customer race car will be based, uses a true BMW M engine, the S55. Couple this with improved running gear from the M3 and M4, which was also present on the original M2, and the M2 Racing starts to take shape as a serious upgrade. Technical details aside though, BMW also has a few years of providing a form of factory support to customer racing in the form of the M235i and M240i Racing models under its belt now, and the lessons learned here are undoubtedly being directly applied to M2 Racing development.
The first deliveries of the new M2 Competition-based customer race car are scheduled to begin during the second quarter of next year. It will be offered in two versions; a conventional Racing trim, and a better-equipped Clubsport setup.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]