This past weekend we were invited out to Monticello Motor Club by one of our customers. We were thrilled on the opportunity and jumped on it as we know that Monticello is a member’s only track and getting an invite was not something to pass up.
So we strapped the M4 down in the trailer at around 530 AM to begin our day.
For those that have raced they know that theres something about the strapping down and packing up that is ritualistic. Everybody has their own way of packing their gear, its part of the process. After unloading at any racetrack part of my ritual is to make the rounds to see what and who else is out there. Always good to know what to look out for on track.
Upon arriving at the track I took some time to familiarize myself with the layout of the course, my assigned instructor for the day, and of course checking into the other machinery I would be sharing the track with.
996 GT3 Cup :
I have a huge softspot for these cars. People like to call them the ugly ducklings with those front headlights but to me there is something so raw to these cars. Not to mention all the GT3 race spec suspension components fix the front end issues associated with this chassis.
This one particular Radical caught my eye...
The end result of wickedly aggressive motorsports features being blended into an organic street-legal shape. Very impressive car.
The M4 looked at home parked up against the pit wall...
Here it is again looking at the Radical’s parked in the hanger with a bit of an evil grin!
Although not the first time at the track for me, it was a new experience to drive the M4 on the track, and to drive at Monticello, so the first few sessions were relatively slow paced and easy. The KW Variant 3 coil overs were absolutely great on track, the car felt very composed when putting down power in bumpy sections. There is one high speed section where there is a blind crest and the car felt planted even at 130+, the way the car transition the weight from side to side and reacted to both throttle and braking input was nice and predictable.
This is one of the many 991 GT3’s we got to share the track with:
Our good friend, and customer in his RSW modified 991 GT3:
We were really quite blown away with the M4’s ability to not only keep up, but sometimes outpace the 991 GT3’s on track. The car handled remarkably well, it rolled a bit but once it got seated it was very stable on the limit. The car would just get loaded up and sit there, no squirming around, no twitchy steering inputs needed just a nice progressive and reactive handling car. The howling abuse of the Michelins was evident by blue hue and rough texture by the end of the day. The car was being driven harder than the tires were made for.
Hunter becoming the Hunted:
By the 3rd and 4th sessions after finding my bearings both with the car and the track it was time to push it to the limit. In attempt to get there we began to find the limitations of the stock brake pads, the tires, and perhaps front end grip. The M4 from the factory is setup with a fair amount of understeer built into the chassis. Between the alignment specs and the large staggering of tire widths front to back it’s easy to see that BMW wanted to keep these cars on the road and not in the trees.
The car handled neutrally, with perhaps a bit of a tendency towards understeer, and the engine and temps were able to produce consistent and reliable power throughout the day.
Over the previous months the car has transformed from bone stock to being a fairly serious backroad warrior. With the assistance of Dinan Dinantronics, Dinan Exhaust, KW V3 Coilovers, and a set of HRE wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport tires we wanted to see exactly what it could do. We were curious as to how the suspension would cope with the demands of the road course, and if the Dinan Tune would prove too much for the OEM cooling system. With anything automotive you have to test product in real world scenarios for valuable data
Not too surprisingly, everything worked out great.
Before exploring with changing major parts we are going to go back to the alignment rack and see if we can achieve the desired balance we want without changing the front tire sizing. I think that between a more aggressive pad materials, some track spec fluid, and some minor tweaks the car can be a lot more fun. We knew going in to this day that the brakes were going to be one of the weak points but it’s always prudent in our experience to actually see for yourself.
Stay tuned for further upgrades to the Redline Speed Worx (RSW) M4. Thanks to HRE Wheels, KW Suspensions, and Dinan Engineering for always supplying our vehicles and our customers with the best designed products in the marketplace.
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