Sim racers have been able to contest races with the development model of the new BMW M4 GT3 on iRacing since the start of the year. Now,
the simulation platform has released an upgrade of the car with the latest BMW M Motorsport design. This version of the BMW M4 GT3 comes very close to the handling of the real car which is set to make its race debut next Saturday. This is the result of very close, intensive collaboration between BMW works driver Bruno Spengler (CAN) and the iRacing developers during the further development in recent months.
About six months after the virtual BMW M4 GT3 made its debut on iRacing the upgrade of the car is due to be launched. This was worked on by Spengler in collaboration with Chris Lerch (USA), the head Vehicle Dynamics Engineer for the simulation platform, and an internal iRacing test driver. The team focused primarily on working on the driving physics, chassis and optimisations in selected aerodynamic areas. “The aim was to make the handling as similar to that of the real car as possible,” explained Spengler.
The BMW works driver was the perfect point of contact for this as he has already tested the real-world BMW M4 GT3 himself and is also an experienced sim racer who has already brought home countless wins and titles on iRacing.
“Bruno’s input was invaluable to this project,“ said Lerch. “His test drives and his feedback advanced the development from start to finish. We are extremely grateful to him for his input.”
The basis for the further development of the virtual BMW M4 GT3 in recent months was first and foremost Spengler’s subjective driving experience. The iRacing developers used the comprehensive vehicle data that they received from BMW M Motorsport last year to convert Spengler’s very detailed feedback into actual numbers for the upgrade. That is how the team went from one version of the BMW M4 GT3 to the next, until it was as realistic as possible from Spengler’s perspective. The iRacing test driver was tasked with collecting his impressions, which help classify the car correctly in the balance of performance that is crucial for GT3 races. And Lerch contributed the perspective of a hobby sim racer, as the aim is for the BMW M4 GT3 to be very drivable for that level as well.
“It was a cool challenge bringing sim racing and real-world racing together like this,” summed up Spengler. “The collaboration with iRacing was fantastic and was a lot of fun. From my perspective, the virtual BMW M4 GT3 is now very like the real thing. I’m excited to hear what the sim racers have to say.”
The real-world BMW M4 GT3 is set to make its race debut in the new BMW M Motorsport design next Saturday, in the Nürburgring Endurance Series. The same design is now available to all sim racers on iRacing.