While two BMW Z4 GTEs will be fighting for top honors in the GT Le Mans class of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, there will also be a Z4 in the GT Daytona class in the Rolex 24 at Daytona under the Turner Motorsport banner. (En Français)
The GRAND-AM stalwarts have rolled out with a strong lineup of Markus Palttala Augusto Farfus, Paul Dalla Lana and Dane Cameron for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season-opener.
The yellow BMW in fact is very European, as it comes from Marc VDS Racing, with the Will Turner-led team having purchased two chassis from the Belgian outfit, which is providing technical support this weekend.
Sebastian Metz is the link between Turner and BMW Motorsport, having served as the engineer for the Marc VDS BMWs in the Blancpain Endurance Series and VLN and assisting the U.S. squad at Daytona.
As Metz explains, the car that’s running in the TUDOR Championship is slightly different than usually seen in GT3 competition.
“It was necessary to adapt the BMW Z4 GT3 to the U.S. regulations,” he said. “The wing is different from the GT3 model, while there is only one spoiler for the cars. The fuel tank has also undergone some changes, as well as the aerodynamics on the front of the car. The Z4 doesn’t usually run with Continental tires, so we have to work on the setup.”
Turner’s Z4 was used in the Blancpain Championship last year with drivers Henri Moser, Markus Palttala and Nick Catsburg (chassis No. 1039), while the second chassis purchased competed in the 24 Hours of Spa as Marc VDS’ third entry.
The Belgian squad will have one brand-new chassis, built by BMW Motorsport, for the upcoming season. There are only a few improvements on the 2014-spec Z4 GT3, including updates to the differential and cooling.
There was some talk that Marc VDS was considering running BMW’s Z4 GTE car in the FIA WEC and Le Mans, but the project was abandoned due to the car’s lack of top speed, particularly with the disadvantage it would have at Le Mans.
For 2014, nothing is confirmed for the Blancpain Endurance Series teams’ champions. After competing in the FIA GT1 World Championship and Blanpain, the goal is to step up to the FIA WEC.
More should be known by mid-February.