BMW Motorsport is continuing to work on the development of the new big-grille generation M4 GT4 in preparation for delivering it to customer teams for the 2023 racing season. Earlier this month, BMW Junior Team drivers Dan Harper, Max Hesse, and Neil Verhagen competed along with test and development driver Jörg Weidinger in the 24H Series race at the Portimão circuit in Portugal, in the GTX class that’s reserved for unclassified cars.
The new M4 GT4 finished the race in eleventh overall, completing 638 laps in excessive heat, which was an especially important part of the test considering the current small-grille generation M4 GT4 has had issues with losing power in hot conditions. “The heat was a real challenge for us drivers, but great preparation for the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps that is coming up for us next,” said Harper. “That was the first real endurance test for the new BMW M4 GT4 and I am still impressed with the car. Overall, it worked really well over 24 hours, and we managed to chalk up a lot of kilometers of testing. It is normal for there to still be occasional problems in the test phase, but all things considered the race was a success.”
The new M4 GT4s fastest lap time at Portimão was a 1:50.971, which was quite a bit quicker than the 1:52.659 that was put up by the Mercedes-AMG GT4 that won the GT4 class. Interesting, but it’s not a fair comparison considering the M4 GT4 was running without any BoP adjustments for the series.
BMW Motorsport also gave opportunities for BMW drivers to experience the new M4 GT4 for the first time on the track at Hockenheim in Germany this month, as part of the BMW M Trackdays. We should be seeing a lot of the new M4 GT4 in action here in the US next season, as there are currently thirteen of them running between the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and SRO GT4 America series. We can expect to see the new car debut in the Michelin Pilot Challenge race at Daytona in January 2023. —David Haueter
[Photos by BMW, 24H Series]