|Review:||Faster, lighter and more competitive |
The GT3 race series is growing in popularity and getting more and more interesting as new competitors like the Mercedes AMG SLS GT3 enter this class. The BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 was able to win five races in the German ADAC GT Masters and celebrate a victory in the French GT championship in the last two years with factory and customer teams. „We want these victories to be followed by others“, says Andreas Bovensiepen, CEO of ALPINA. „In order to reach this target, we decided to further develop the B6 GT3 regarding engine, transmission, suspension and aerodynamics.“
The BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 has always been fast, but the combination of high torque and vehicle weight often resulted in a disproportionate amount of tyre wear, so that top positions were lost in the final phase of the races. In order to stay competitive, especially against all the mid-engine concepts, a significant weight reduction and an improved weight distribution was needed. The high torque 4.4-litre supercharged engine with 530hp gives way to a lighter, equally powerful 5.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 engine. The new engine in addition to the omission of the compressor and the inter cooler resulted in a weight reduction of 70kg on the front axle, while at the same time the fuel consumption is reduced by approximately 15 percent.
The new naturally aspirated engine is derived from a well proven BMW race engine from the American GrandAm race series, with which the racing team from Chip Ganassi was able to reach a double-victory at the 24h Race of Daytona in January this year. In contrast to the GrandAm race series, the regulations of which stipulate a rpm limit of 7000rpm for that engine, the engine in the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 Evo 2011 can unfold without a rev limiter. ALPINA has exploited this opportunity to further develop the engine extensively.
“Keep it simple” is an important rule in racing. In that sense, the naturally aspirated engine consists, compared to the compressor engine, of fewer components and a racing engine management software, the Bosch MS4 Sport. This makes handling for customer teams much easier and the robust and economical naturally aspired engine is especially suited for endurance racing.
Additionally the racing engine management software enables a better programming of the paddle-shift gear change and in combination with the shorter transmission ratio, the gear change is now even faster than before.
To further improve turn-in, to avoid understeer in tight corners and to optimize per- formance over the entire race distance, the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 Evo 2011 uses Michelin front tyres with 30 mm more diameter for the 2011 season. The new front tyre has the size 30/68-18 (old 30/65-1. The rear tyres in the dimension of 31/71-18 stay the same.
The improved weight distribution, of the now 1230kg light BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 Evo 2011 with more than 50 percent rear axle weight, has also led to new springs and shock absorber set-ups.
An optimised rear wing profile provides the same downforce with less drag resistance, which further reduces fuel consumption.
“We used all our experience from the past two racing seasons to develop the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 Evo 2011 and we are optimistic, that we can offer our customers a very competitive racing car for sprint and endurance racing”, said Andreas Bovensiepen.
ALPINA will not participate in racing with a factory team, but will support and care intensively for customer teams. In 2011 Team Engstler Motorsport will race a BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 Evo 2011 in the German ADAC GT Masters series. The first driver is Florian Spengler and currently the team is negotiating with further drivers and planning on racing a second car. Interested drivers should contact Kurt Treml (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Interested teams which like to run a new or used BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 Evo 2011 in the ADAC GT Masters, the FIA GT3 European Championship or the Endurance Races VLN at the Nürburgring, are asked to contact ALPINA, Mr. Kiran Hörth (email@example.com).