It didn’t long for the new BMW M4 GT4 to establish itself as a force to be reckoned with on the track. The BMW M4 GT4 — direct successor of the BMW M3 E92 that was last seen taking victory at Road Atlanta in 2015 — made its North American competition debut in impressive fashion this past January, taking second and fourth place in the opening race of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (CTSC).
BMW made its long-awaited return to IMSA’s Grand Sport (GS) class at the four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona on Jan. 26 with two entries: The BimmerWorld Racing No. 82 BMW M4 GT4, driven by James Clay and Tyler Cooke; and the Classic BMW / Vess Energy Group No. 72 BMW M4 GT4, driven by the trio of Mike Vess, Jason Hart and Toby Grahovec. Starting from 18th and 27th, respectively, in a 28-car grid, the two BMW M4 GT4 carved through a field of consisting of six other manufacturers to just barely miss out on a double-podium finish.
Coming down the stretch, the No. 82 BMW M4 GT4 overtook and staved off the advance of the Multimatic Motorsports No. 15 Ford Mustang GT4 to take second place by just 0.903 seconds. The No. 72 BMW M4 GT4 just missed taking third, finishing 0.684 seconds out of podium position. This performance immediately establishes the BMW M4 GT4 as a contender in the GS class, and seemingly indicates more successes ahead in the 2018 IMSA CTSC season.
Prior to the BMW Endurance Challenge, the BMW M4 GT4 made its customer racing debut at the 24h Dubai. All three cars in the field made it to the finish line, and the Team Securtal Sorg Rennsport BMW M4 GT4 managed a fifth-place class finish.
“We have many months of intensive development and testing behind us,” said Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director. “I am delighted to see the BMW M4 GT4 in action for customers. During the course of the season, it will prove itself in countless races across the globe.”
The addition of the BMW M4 GT4 makes BMW Motorsport’s lineup one of the most well-rounded in competitive racing, fitting in between the BMW M235i Racing coupe and the updated BMW M6 GT3. The BMW M4 GT4 will next see U.S. competition in March at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
This article is presented by Rick Hendrick BMW Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina.