The BMW M3 and M4 have always been a great platform for race cars, and the success of the new G82 generation M4 GT4 in 2023 shows not only how good the race car is, but how good the road car is on which it is based. The G82 M4 GT4 won multiple championships around the world in 2023, but it was most impressive in the US in the pro series sanctioned by the SRO and IMSA.

The G82 M4 GT4 had the most success in the SRO GT4 America series, which provided great racing all year and was perhaps the most competitive series in the US in 2023. Auto Technic Racing driver Zac Anderson won the Silver class drivers’ championship in the #51 M4 GT4 while Auto Technic won the Silver class team championship (in main photo). Anderson did most of his races with John Capestro-Dubets, who missed out on the championship when he had to sit out the Road America races after suffering a back injury in another race.

The BimmerWorld duo of James Clay and Charlie Postins won the Am class championship for the second straight year (they won it with an F82 M4 GT4 in 2022) while BimmerWorld won the Am team championship, and STR38 Motorsports finished second in the Am class team championship. BimmerWorld drivers Tyler McQuarrie and James Walker Jr. also finished second in the Pro-Am class, and BMW won the overall manufacturers championship for the series.

BimmerWorld Racing duo James Clay and Charlie Postins dominated the SRO GT4 America Am class, with six wins and five poles.

The SRO GT4 America racing record of the G82 M4 GT4 is impressive when you look at the numbers. Overall, the car scored 55 podium finishes in 13 races, with 17 wins and 10 poles. There were nine different driver pairing from five different BMW teams that put the car on the podium, and the car swept the podium in four different races.

BimmerWorld team owner and driver James Clay was one of the most successful drivers in the series and gives a lot of credit to BMW for the work done on the G82. “I think that BMW has learned tremendously, and they were great at taking feedback (from the F82 generation M4 GT4) and making the new car better,” he says. “I like their approach with having more road car content in the race car, which is not everybody’s approach, and I think the road car parts are better (on G82 M4 vs. F82 M4). BMW built a better race car for 2023, but I think maybe the series didn’t expect it to be quite as good. We certainly benefited from a strong BoP early in the season, which has been a challenge in years past. The BoP benefit decreased as the season went on, but we had a number of sharp teams that were actively competing with the car and pushing the development of that car while getting a better understanding of it.”

Random Vandals Racing had a lot of success in the SRO GT4 America Silver class with three wins and one pole.

While there are improvements everywhere in the G82 M4 GT4, especially in areas like engine cooling, Clay said the biggest improvement was the way the car works with its tires. “The single biggest improvement in the car (over F82 generation) is the tremendous decrease of tire degradation over a run,” he said. “The BMW is always the bigger car, the one with more frontal area and the higher center of gravity, which is all hard on the tires. We have a larger diameter tire with the G82 M4 GT4 and there’s better front air extraction. I’m not sure what all else plays into that, but the new car is tremendously good with tire degradation.”

STR38 Motorsports drivers Robert Mau and Chris Allen finished second in the SRO GT4 America Am class standings.

The G82 M4 GT4 also had great success in the IMSA-sanctioned Michelin Pilot Challenge and VP SportsCar Challenge series. Turner Motorsport was the only team that ran the car in Michelin Pilot Challenge for the full season, and drivers Robby Foley and Vin Barletta won the GS class drivers championship in a dramatic final race at Road Atlanta, while Turner won the class team championship. In that series, Turner scored five podium finishes in ten races, including wins at Sebring and Watkins Glen, where the pair of Turner cars finished one-two. The Turner duo of Cameron Lawrence and Robert Megennis also had three poles between them.

Turner Motorsport won championships in both IMSA VP SportsCar Challenge and Michelin Pilot Challenge.

In the IMSA VP SportsCar Challenge series, Turner Motorsport driver Francis Selldorff won the GSX class drivers’ championship, Turner Motorsport won the team championship and Vin Barletta won the Bronze drivers title. BMW also won the manufacturers championship in that series, on the strength of 22 podium finishes in 12 races (with one podium for the F82 M4 GT4). The G82 M4 GT4 scored six wins by three different drivers in that series. Stephen Cameron Racing driver Greg Liefooghe was also a standout performer in VP SportsCar Challenge, with six pole positions and seven podium finishes. Liefooghe would likely have been a contender for the championship but did not compete in every race in the series.

Stephen Cameron Racing competed in both IMSA and SRO, and Greg Liefooghe was a standout performer in the IMSA VP SportsCar Challenge.

BMW M Motorsport recently announced that the they are making more of the G82 M4 GT4 as well as working on an EVO package that promises more improvements. “What a debut year for the new BMW M4 GT4! We were confident enough before the season to assume that we could continue the successes of its predecessor with this car, but the large number of victories and title wins that our teams and drivers were able to achieve right away was even a positive surprise for us,” said Björn Lellmann, Head of Customer Racing at BMW M Motorsport. “Due to the high demand, we are currently producing 50 additional units of the BMW M4 GT4, which will be delivered to our customers in 2024. In addition, we have decided to develop an EVO version of the BMW M4 GT4 after the BMW M4 GT3. The goal is to make an already very strong car even better with the help of our customers’ feedback.” —David Haueter

[Photos by David Haueter]



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