M3 Is Back Baby! And It’s Ready To Race!

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BMW M3 ALMS

I was watching the 12 hours of Sebring on Saturday and man was it a great race. Audi, Porsche, Acura, Peugeot all battling it out for top honors in their classes and overall victory produced intense competition that ended up claiming quite a few cars during the race. There were a number of accidents, many bumps that led to off track barrier crashes, and a good number of malfunctions, including with Peugeot’s new 908 HDi, both Audi R10 TDI’s and one of Roger Penske’s Porsche RS Sypder’s. At least one Penske Porsche was left standing and took the overall win.
This is not what I’m here to talk about though. The whole race all I could think about was how well BMW was going to do when it brings its new ALMS M3 into competition for the 2009 season. BMW and Rahal/Letterman racing already revealed the car earlier this year, and it the design is so raw. The car looks very aggressive, and almost doesn’t look like it’s aerodynamic at all until you remember that this is BMW and the regular M3 is amazing, so why wouldn’t the race car be?

BMW M3 GTR

With a modified version of the current 414hp 4.0L V8 that powers the public’s M3, the ALMS car is ready to go back to beating up on Porsche in GT2 series racing. The first M3 GTR had a claimed 444hp 354lb-ft of torque 4.0L V8 and raced in the GT category and was beaten up pretty badly in its first racing season of the year 2000 by its rival from Stuttgart, Porsche. It only won one race and proved to be a dismal career, unless BMW were to learn a lesson from it. They did, and they ended up taking 6 of 8 races in the 2001 season, along with taking the drivers’ title for Jörg Müller and also the Manufacturers’ championship. Unfortunately, BMW were forced to hang it up after the 2002 season due to new regulations that stated BMW had to make 50 V8 M3s… They were only able to produce about five and they couldn’t have pumped out that many in time, and at especially $225,000 a pop. Or they would have to add a smaller restrictor and add 220lbs to the car. BMW thought this to be worthless to even race its GTR and decided it needed to focus on Formula 1 more anyway. So they were out.

Now the M3 is back. It looks better than ever and it will be better than ever. The first GTR was tested by Car and Driver tested back in March of 2002 and they had some wonderful things to say about it. Their equipment that they ran on it put it at 60 in only 3.4s and to 100 in 7s with a ¼ mile time of 11.4 @ 127 mph. The GTR only weighed 2450lbs, and sported a 6-spd manual transmission.

The new M3 ALMS racer will have to do with only 485hp from its 4.0L V8 borrowed and made even better from the E92 M3 road car. The new M3 will also weigh 2535lbs. That is only 85lbs more than the previous GTR and with 41 more horsepower. Can we say look out GT3 RSR? This already has my body tingling for the racing that will take place. With the same carbon fiber roof in place from M3 and now with enough lips, wings and spoilers to make a Fast and the Furious movie work hard to produce more bodywork. Since BMW has been so successful with its recent F1 cars, the F1 tunnels have been fully used to make sure that the new M3 is perfect for the race track. Talk about an advantage.
BMW M3 ALMS

Now the M3 is back. It looks better than ever and it will be better than ever. The first GTR was tested by Car and Driver tested back in March of 2002 and they had some wonderful things to say about it. Their equipment that they ran on it put it at 60 in only 3.4s and to 100 in 7s with a ¼ mile time of 11.4 @ 127 mph. The GTR only weighed 2450lbs, and sported a 6-spd manual transmission.

The new M3 ALMS racer will have to do with only 485hp from its 4.0L V8 borrowed and made even better from the E92 M3 road car. The new M3 will also weigh 2535lbs. That is only 85lbs more than the previous GTR and with 41 more horsepower. Can we say look out GT3 RSR? This already has my body tingling for the racing that will take place. With the same carbon fiber roof in place from M3 and now with enough lips, wings and spoilers to make a Fast and the Furious movie work hard to produce more bodywork. Since BMW has been so successful with its recent F1 cars, the F1 tunnels have been fully used to make sure that the new M3 is perfect for the race track. Talk about an advantage.

-Josh

“Happy Motoring!”

Information courtesy of: C&D, Motor Trend and Autoblog