BMW gives M4 GT3 "trouble-free" debut on Nordschleife

BMW has described the competition debut of its new M4 GT3 as a success after completing a "trouble-free" outing in the seventh round of the Nurburgring Endurance Series (NLS).

The M4 GT3, which replaces the venerable M6 that has been in service since 2016, was due to make its debut on the Nurburgring Nordschleife in June but this was postponed after a technical fault caused Sheldon van der Linde to crash in practice.

The car had previously appeared at the official Spa 24 Hours test day, where it had topped the unofficial times with Nick Yelloly.

With development ongoing on the yet-to-be-homologated M4, it ran in the SPX class and had to start from the rear of the GT3 class field for Saturday's six-hour race.

BMW factory drivers Philipp Eng and Augusto Farfus had climbed into the top 10 before completing a planned exercise of running the tank to empty in the final minutes, meaning the car was listed as a retirement.

Reflecting on a “successful race debut,” BMW M Motorsport boss Mike Krack said: “The car ran like clockwork and we had no problems at all during yesterday’s testing or in qualifying and the race today.

“Augusto and Philipp were delighted with the performance of the BMW M4 GT3 and confirmed how great the BMW M4 GT3 drives on the Nordschleife. Overall, we are very pleased with this NLS Saturday.”

BMW M4 GT3: Philipp Eng, Augusto Farfus

BMW M4 GT3: Philipp Eng, Augusto Farfus

Photo by: BMW

Eng said that the M4 was “easier to drive but the performance is even better” relative to the M6 that won the Nurburgring 24 Hours in 2020.

“The Nordschleife was a busy place again today and I had a few situations with other cars, but it helped that you can overtake offline with the BMW M4 GT3 too, without getting yourself into trouble right away,” explained the Austrian, who won the Spa 24 Hours with the M6 in 2016 and 2018.

“Overall, I feel that it went great. The race was smooth and I would be happy to start the 24-hour race with this car right away.”

Farfus added: “It was a very emotional day because I remember my first rollout in Dingolfing and after so many months, we come to the Nordschleife and I did the first race start with the new BMW M4 GT3. It was just great.

“Thanks to BMW who did an amazing job, the car ran trouble-free. We could experience and measure the speed of the car against the competition so it was a great lesson today.

“The car feels very, very good and I can’t wait to be back at the Nordschleife with the car.”

The race was won by Porsche factory drivers Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen for Manthey Racing, this year's Nurburgring 24 Hours winners beating BMW Junior Team drivers Dan Harper, Max Hesse and Neil Verhagen in an M6 GT3. 

BMW M4 GT3: Philipp Eng, Augusto Farfus

BMW M4 GT3: Philipp Eng, Augusto Farfus

Photo by: BMW

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