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BMW Anticipates Mid-2020 Test Debut for New GT3 Car

BMW is securing the timeframe for its new GT3 car, set to debut in 2022…

Photo: BMW

BMW’s new GT3 car is likely to test for the first time in mid-2020, according to the manufacturer’s motorsport director Jens Marquardt.

The car, which is set to debut in 2022 at the start of the GT3 category’s next regulations cycle, has been in development for the most part of this year.

In July, Sportscar365 reported that BMW’s next GT3 racer would likely be based on the next-generation M4 road car, while Marquardt said it was too early to predict when wheels might hit the ground.

However, he has since elaborated on when the car will likely hit the track.

“We’re not building a test mule,” Marquardt told Sportscar365 when asked about BMW’s plans for the BMW M6 GT3 successor.

“Normally, we should have the car out somewhere in the middle of next year, and then intensify testing towards the end of next year.

“Then in 2021, we will test [more] and hopefully have some showings out of competition in events so that we can thoroughly test the car before it goes into the hands of customers.

“That would be the rough planning right now.”

Marquardt said that the concept phase of the car’s development is in its final stage, and that BMW is now waiting for the 2022 FIA GT3 regulations to be published.

He expects the updated rulebook to be ratified by the FIA World Motor Sport Council, which next meets in Paris on Dec. 4.

“We need to get the final regulations; that is the next necessary step,” said Marquardt.

“I think it’s supposed to be out by the end of this year, so the next World Motor Sport Council should put a stamp on it and then we all have something that we know is fixed and can work to.

“We have not had good experiences with unclear regulations recently, so I’m anxiously waiting for that. For us, the concepts are more or less ready.

“Then we can say the final go and start building cars before going testing.

“I think it would be good before we do the final steps to have fixed regulations so that there are no surprises at the last minute.

“That is usually quite costly, and also, with regards to the timeframe, not very helpful.”

“Unfinished Business” for M6 GT3

Marquardt added that BMW’s current GT3-homologated car – the M6 – has plenty of life left in it despite the manufacturer shifting its focus toward the incoming replacement model.

The car that won the Total 24 Hours of Spa in 2016 and 2018 was given an Evo package last year and is set to compete globally through 2021.

And while not outright confirming, Marquardt hinted that the M6 GT3 will return to lead BMW’s manufacturer entry into the 2020 Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli.

“We have, from this year, quite a few unfinished businesses that we should tackle next year,” he said. “There are still quite a few things that we would like to tick off our list.

“Still, our 20th [overall] win at the Nürburgring 24 is something we would like to achieve. And in IGTC there are a few races that I would love to win.

“I think the car is still quite competitive in the [IGTC] series. I think Stephane [Ratel] has again set up something that is definitely very relevant and, for us, a very good first year of experience.

“I wouldn’t see a reason why we shouldn’t be involved in the 2020 IGTC.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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