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      02-21-2013, 11:17 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drakar99 View Post
Is anyone else upset with BMW Motorsports for switching to Z4s (?!) in the American Lemans Series?! The ALMS series was pretty poor last year with low entry counts, etc, but this move will make it worse...at least for M3 owners. Who cares about Z4s anyway?? Not many people buy them. I may be cancelling my trip to Sebring.
Being that this is the last year the prototypes will be @ Sebring for quite a while, you'd be crazy to consider not going.

This year is going to be great.

Sarge135 and myself are going to be in the BMW corral. Not the best amenities but the parking is good
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      02-21-2013, 05:14 PM   #24
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I watched it in the European GT3 championship series in Europe this year and it was a pretty tough contender.

That being said, since all these cars are purpose-hacked at the factory to become race cars posing as a stock chassis model, why did they have to pick the freaking Z4? BMW doesn't even sell that many Z4s, and they handle like do-do on the track, supposedly. Might as well have done a 5 series.

I vote they should have done a 1-series coupe chassis version to get them through the gap. It would have built brand enthusiasm for the poser 2-series "MSport" coupe model they're bringing out. (I say poser because I assume the turbo motor will overheat the oil, coolant, or something else and convert to limp mode if you actually try to drive a whole 20-min. track session in it. If they put in a good enough intercooler to beat heat soak, I'll take back the poser comment.)

Okay, rant mode off. Sorry. In the GT3 series it looked good.

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      02-21-2013, 06:49 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBasham View Post
That being said, since all these cars are purpose-hacked at the factory to become race cars posing as a stock chassis model, why did they have to pick the freaking Z4? BMW doesn't even sell that many Z4s, and they handle like do-do on the track, supposedly. Might as well have done a 5 series.
that's not the case with all the teams- many are non-factory and some are even privateers

i do agree with you though- its kind of weird that they're bringing in the z4, but more wins and brand-awareness can only help the brand
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      02-21-2013, 07:51 PM   #26
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It's hard to believe, but I've been attending ALMS races for almost 10yrs now(Laguna Seca and Long Beach). Originally, BMW wasn't even in this series, so the fact that they aren't pulling out and continuing with the Z4 makes me happy. Maybe in a few years they will switch to the new M3/4 when the timing is right. I'm just a little worried about what's going to happen with the merger with Grand-Am in 2014 since daytona prototypes do nothing for me.
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      02-21-2013, 07:56 PM   #27
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wow, surprised at all the e89 hate.
Well, not really surprised at the hate from some M3 owners...

None of these race cars, from the M3 to old M coupe to current Z4, drive like their street versions anyway. So yeah, they could have made the current race car a 1 series, or 3 or 5 series... regardless it would have been an amazing machine and raised awesome brand awareness.

Of course this is a badass race car.
And yes, the real crime here is how there will never be an e89 M.
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      02-21-2013, 08:58 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBasham View Post
I watched it in the European GT3 championship series in Europe this year and it was a pretty tough contender.

That being said, since all these cars are purpose-hacked at the factory to become race cars posing as a stock chassis model, why did they have to pick the freaking Z4? BMW doesn't even sell that many Z4s, and they handle like do-do on the track, supposedly. Might as well have done a 5 series.

I vote they should have done a 1-series coupe chassis version to get them through the gap. It would have built brand enthusiasm for the poser 2-series "MSport" coupe model they're bringing out. (I say poser because I assume the turbo motor will overheat the oil, coolant, or something else and convert to limp mode if you actually try to drive a whole 20-min. track session in it. If they put in a good enough intercooler to beat heat soak, I'll take back the poser comment.)

Okay, rant mode off. Sorry. In the GT3 series it looked good.
How many Z4s have you driven, let alone on the track?
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      02-21-2013, 11:23 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itgb View Post
It's hard to believe, but I've been attending ALMS races for almost 10yrs now(Laguna Seca and Long Beach). Originally, BMW wasn't even in this series, so the fact that they aren't pulling out and continuing with the Z4 makes me happy. Maybe in a few years they will switch to the new M3/4 when the timing is right. I'm just a little worried about what's going to happen with the merger with Grand-Am in 2014 since daytona prototypes do nothing for me.
don't worry, the GT classes will all compete. Daytona GT classes are similar to the GTC class in ALMS, cheap and easy switch for ALMS teams.
The merger of the ALMS prototypes with Daytona prototypes will the more difficult. Maybe they can run 3 P classes? But Daytona prototypes will not qualify for 24 Hours of LeMans.

Remember Target team runs a Dinan BMW Daytona P car:




Official announcement of the merger was made today. Here’s what we found out:

• A merger was first discussed five years ago, but the time wasn’t right.
• Ed Brown (ALMS Sponsor) got the ball rolling again at the Daytona 24 this year
• Don Panoz and Jim France did the deal on the golf course six months ago ..... read in the pub
• 2013 will see the two series running separate schedules
• 2014 will see a combined series beginning at Daytona, then going to Sebring
• No official name for the new series has yet been decided
• The likely number of races is 12
• Jim France insisted during discussions that the link with Le Mans must remain
• The class structure is yet to be decided, but will not feature LMP1
• ALMS GT is part of the package, as is Grand-Am GT
• Nissan DeltaWing is part of the package
• The process of determining the technical regs is only just beginning

"So, much still to be discussed and announced over the coming months; but what was striking about the announcement was the air of optimism and positivity. This was to be expected, of course, but we probably didn’t expect Jim France to describe himself as ‘a lifelong sportscar fan’; nor for him to recall a conversation with his late father, who told him that “We don’t know how big sportscar racing can be.”

The board of the new organisation will be as follows:

Chairman - Jim France
Vice Chairman - Don Panoz
Lesa France Kennedy (NASCAR Vice Chair/Executive Vice President)
Ed Bennett (Grand-Am President/CEO)
Scott Atherton (ALMS President/CEO)
Karen Leetzow (NASCAR Vice President/Deputy General Counsel)

Last edited by mdosu; 02-21-2013 at 11:31 PM.
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      02-22-2013, 12:00 AM   #30
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So happy to see BMW race the Z4 in ALMS this year. I really feel the Grand-AM GS class is where M3 belongs with Mustangs and Camaros... and if BMW was market savvy they'd get the M3 into NASCAR with the Fusion/Camry/Impalas where best selling 2 door backseat models belong. I love my M3, but the days of BMW showing off with look at my sedan/coupe... I'm as fast as real sports cars should be over.
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      02-22-2013, 01:14 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drakar99 View Post
Is anyone else upset with BMW Motorsports for switching to Z4s (?!) in the American Lemans Series?! The ALMS series was pretty poor last year with low entry counts, etc, but this move will make it worse...at least for M3 owners. Who cares about Z4s anyway?? Not many people buy them. I may be cancelling my trip to Sebring.
If you think the ALMS "M3" had anything do with an M3...

It's a tube frame built by Riley with an evolution of the P60B40 in it. At best you have "M Style" fenders.
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      02-22-2013, 06:01 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSt|G View Post
If you think the ALMS "M3" had anything do with an M3...

It's a tube frame built by Riley with an evolution of the P60B40 in it. At best you have "M Style" fenders.
Isn't that grand am
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      02-22-2013, 06:04 AM   #33
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So will the alms and grand am GT classes stay separate? If they were combined, that would be interesting, different M3s racing against each other and camaros vs corvettes.
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      02-22-2013, 06:28 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBasham View Post
why did they have to pick the freaking Z4? BMW doesn't even sell that many Z4s, and they handle like do-do on the track, supposedly. Might as well have done a 5 series.

Okay, rant mode off. Sorry. In the GT3 series it looked good.
The Z4 GT car is much more competitive compared to the outgoing M3 GT car. If it wasn't for the drive shaft issues, Schübert Motorsport would have taken the 1-2 spots in last years 24h race at the Nürburgring. I suspect the Z4 will do quite well.

Oh, it uses the V8 out of the M3
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      02-22-2013, 11:13 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sensi09 View Post
Isn't that grand am
Not familiar with Grand Am. Went to a symposium on BMW ALMS racing from the NA head of BMW Motorsport and chassis info is exactly what he told us. The engine bit I already knew.
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      02-22-2013, 06:32 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSt|G View Post
Not familiar with Grand Am. Went to a symposium on BMW ALMS racing from the NA head of BMW Motorsport and chassis info is exactly what he told us. The engine bit I already knew.
Do you have a link?

Are you sure you're talking about ALMS. In ALMS GT, many of the car use the production chassis/frame.
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      02-22-2013, 08:54 PM   #37
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Indeed

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBasham View Post
I watched it in the European GT3 championship series in Europe this year and it was a pretty tough contender.

That being said, since all these cars are purpose-hacked at the factory to become race cars posing as a stock chassis model, why did they have to pick the freaking Z4? BMW doesn't even sell that many Z4s, and they handle like do-do on the track, supposedly. Might as well have done a 5 series.

I vote they should have done a 1-series coupe chassis version to get them through the gap. It would have built brand enthusiasm for the poser 2-series "MSport" coupe model they're bringing out. (I say poser because I assume the turbo motor will overheat the oil, coolant, or something else and convert to limp mode if you actually try to drive a whole 20-min. track session in it. If they put in a good enough intercooler to beat heat soak, I'll take back the poser comment.)

Okay, rant mode off. Sorry. In the GT3 series it looked good.
One of the best and smartest comments to my original start of this thread!
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      02-22-2013, 11:32 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sensi09 View Post
Do you have a link?

Are you sure you're talking about ALMS. In ALMS GT, many of the car use the production chassis/frame.
It was a chat with the head of BMW NA Motorsport, not something I happened to read online. So no, I don't have a link to it.
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      02-23-2013, 06:43 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSt|G View Post
If you think the ALMS "M3" had anything do with an M3...

It's a tube frame built by Riley with an evolution of the P60B40 in it. At best you have "M Style" fenders.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSt|G View Post
It was a chat with the head of BMW NA Motorsport, not something I happened to read online. So no, I don't have a link to it.
Well regardless, tube frame cars are not used in ALMS GT. The rules do not allow it.

The M3 GT is far from stock, but it is not a tube frame car. If a riley tube frame was used, the change to a Z4 would simply be bodywork alone, but this is not the case.

Now the turner M3 in grand am GT, that car uses a riley tube-frame.
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      02-23-2013, 11:11 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sensi09 View Post
Well regardless, tube frame cars are not used in ALMS GT. The rules do not allow it.

The M3 GT is far from stock, but it is not a tube frame car. If a riley tube frame was used, the change to a Z4 would simply be bodywork alone, but this is not the case.

Now the turner M3 in grand am GT, that car uses a riley tube-frame.
Perhaps I'm miss remembering. Either way, they have so little to do with a street BMW I can't imagine getting my panties in a twist about the "M3" to "Z4" swap.

This is something that I think is a problem in general, and why we no longer have homologation greats like the E30 M3. We need a race series where the sum total of the difference between the street and track versions of the car is brake pads and a cage/hans for safety. That would make some fantastic cars.
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      02-23-2013, 11:58 PM   #41
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^You should check out the continental tire series in grand am. Or some european gt4 series.
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      02-24-2013, 12:10 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyfrc View Post
I suspect the turbo POS motor that will be in coming M3 would not be able to survive a race, let alone be competitive. BMW is an eco-freindly brand now meaning, they will submit to the pressure of government CAFE regulation. When you do this there you create engines that are anything but, race worthy.
So... do you actually believe a word you speak, or do you expect others to?

Ignorance...

Yes, Because turbo motors have never been, or are currently not being used in, major race cars all over the world... I am sure BMW will be ecstatic to show off to the world what a POS their motors are. Sounds like a great marketing strategy for them. Should sell many cars and increase their fan base by showing how fast they can finish last... or from what you say... not finish at all.
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      02-24-2013, 12:23 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrimoM3 View Post
I'm with you - people want to see THEIR make and model out there - but balking won't make any difference at this point.

The bigger argument is why'd they screw up so bad with the Z4!? Super soft and no M model is shortsighted, in my opinion.
Why can't we just be happy to see a beautiful BMW out there? It's not like any race cars are what we buy anyway.

If they screwed up with the Z4 it was mainly on the marketing side. But I don't see how that is our problem? Technically they made a great car!

I am biased of course, but to say that the Z4 is as soft as a regular N55 1/3/5-series is simply not true. It is definitely the sportier and stiffer car of that group. And even if you don't care to drive one, at least pop the hood and look at those anti-roll bars. They are on-pair with those of the M-cars, and much bigger than those of a 335i for instance. It will also continue to be sold with the N54 which has won more awards than the M3 V8 (although in a different class with different competition of course).

In conclusion, just because its not a dedicated track car, it's still, from a technical point of view, and as a sporty roadster, nothing to be so ashamed of really.

And allow me to quickly point out. If you pick the stock "M sports" non-adaptive-suspension, swap out the RFTs with some proper track tires, spend 10mins on tuning the ECU to get those 390hp easily available with the N54 then you actually have a car that can set a faster lap time than the M3 convertible. It was never the purpose of the car, but it could, and for a lot less money.

I agree it did not sell well in the US, but again, I do not see how it is our problem if BMW makes a profit on a single model or not.
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      02-24-2013, 12:30 PM   #44
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