24 Hours of Nurburgring in the new BMW M4 GT4June 19, 2017
BMW is still working on some of the final calibration bits of the new M4 GT4 racing car before it goes on sale to customer racing teams next year. However, the best way to figure out how good the car is, and what sort of tweaks it needs, is to race it. So that’s exactly what BMW did at the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring. Jethro Bovington of Drive Tribe was one of the drivers on hand for the 24 grueling hours and finished the race alive, all in the brand new BMW M4 GT4. What a day that must have been.
In this video, we get a brilliant look at just how hectic, frightening and exhausting this race is. It’s one of the greatest races in the world and one of the absolute most punishing. Not only is it a 24 hour race but it’s done on a longer version of the most difficult track in the world. So it’s about 15 miles of brutal, battering tarmac for each and every lap. For 24 hours…
At the beginning of the race, the brand-new BMW M4 GT4 looks shiny and expensive, the sort of stuff BMW’s M Division probably worked very long and hard on and on which it spent many moneys. It’s an exciting moment for everyone involved. This is the M4 GT4’s inaugural race and no one really knows how it’s going to perform over that period of time, under that work load. It’s exciting for the entire team and Bovington just seems hopeful to finish. It’s certainly an intimidating race without the weight of testing a brand-new and very expensive car for the first time.
During his first stint, Bovington does well and seems to like the car. He isn’t a huge fan of the M Dynamic traction control system, which he claims to intervene too much, but that’s exactly the sort of thing BMW is looking to find out so that it can be changed. Also, the car seems to absolutely chew through brakes at a rate that’s odd even for this kind of beating. But aside from that, his first impressions are good.
As the hours tick by and the day becomes night which then starts to become morning, he starts to really appreciate the car, its grip and its balance. It’s also fast, fast enough to keep up with some of the best cars there. It isn’t without issue, though. The gearbox had some issues during one of the later stints and, when loaded up on the right side, it was munching tires. However, BMW M is probably happy these things are being learned now so they can be fixed.
The BMW M4 GT4 ends up first in its class, thanks to Bovington and all of the drivers on the team, which is an incredible accomplishment. He was the last one in the car and that must have felt incredibly special. After the race, the car doesn’t look shiny and pretty anymore. It’s beaten, battered and scarred. There are bits of bumper and fender that were held on by duct-tape following some big tire blowouts, one Kidney Grille is held on by zip-ties and it was absolutely filthy. But it looks cool that way, arguably better than it did before. It had accomplished something, it finished the absolutely grueling 24 Hours of the Nurburgring and survived. Sure, it’s got battle scars but those are earned. They way Bovington talks about the race at the end, you get the impression the car looked how he felt. I bet that beer tasted good afterward.