BMW M3 GT to be Replaced by Z4 GTE in ALMS

BMW Z4 GTE 1 photo
Photo: BMW Motorsport
It's official: BMW will start a new chapter in its motorsport commitment in North America. After four successful years with the BMW M3 GT, the BMW Z4 GTE will take its place as head of the manufacturer's campaign in the 2013 American Le Mans Series (ALMS). On Tuesday, BMW Motorsport and BMW Team RLL presented the car and drivers for the new season at the “Daytona International Speedway” (US).
At the official unveiling, guests from around the world got the chance to inspect and witness first hand the new BMW Z4 GTE, talk to those responsible for the team and experience the car on the racetrack, from the cockpit, with the BMW ALPS drivers.

“As we approach the start of the ALMS season in mid-March, so the anticipation is gradually rising. All of us at BMW Motorsport and BMW Team RLL are very curious to see how the first few races pan out with the new BMW Z4 GTE. We are setting out on a development year, but are very confident we have once again developed a car that has the potential to win races and titles in the form of the BMW Z4 GTE. Seeing our drivers at this event, you could tell how much they are looking forward to the first race in Sebring. I would also like to say a big thank you to our Premium Partner Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts for its fantastic support here in Daytona.” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt.

Team Principal Bobby Rahal added: “Obviously I am very excited to enter this new year with the BMW Z4 GTE. There is a lot of enthusiasm in the team for the new car. Certainly there will be a development period involved but ultimately I see no reason why we can’t be competitive with the great competition that exists in the GT category in the ALMS. Although this might be a development year in many respects, the level of driver talent we have on the team – including the two new exciting additions with Maxime Martin and John Edwards – I think that ultimately we can have success and do much as we did in 2009, the first year of the BMW M3 GT, and work hard toward achieving maximum results in its first year. One aspect of the launch that is very exciting is not just the introduction of the BMW Z4 GTE and our drivers, but also the collection of historic cars that were the cars that began the success story of BMW in North American racing.”

The event took place on Monday in Orlando, Florida, and the guests were welcomed by Jens Marquardt, Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO of BMW North America, Bobby Rahal, BMW Team RLL Team Principal and Gordon McDonnell, BMW NA Motorsport Manager.

The BMW Z4 GTE is more compact than the M3 GT. All the car's dimensions were modified, in order to comply with ACO regulations. The Z4 racer's dimensions are: 4,395 mm in length (Excluding the rear wing), 2,010 mm wide, 1,205 mm tall. It weighs 1,245 kg (in order to comply with the ACO regulations) and has a tank capacity of 110 liters. The Z4's transmission is a six-speed sequential sport one, operated via shifting paddles mounted on the steering wheel, with multiple ZF Sachs clutch.

The engine of the Z4 GTE is a 4.4-liter V8 (probably based on the S65B44 engine) that boasts approximately 480 HP and approximately 480Nm of torque. The wheels will be a set of BBS forged aluminum wheels, 12,5x18" for the front axle and 13x18" for the rear axle.
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