BMW:The perfect example of synergies between real-world motorsport and sim racing: the BMW M4 GT4.
Munich. The BMW M4 GT4 played a leading role in the technology
transfer between real-world motorsport and sim racing in the 2020
season. The introduction of the car on the simulation platforms
iRacing and Assetto Corsa Competizione is just as much a new
dimension of creating synergies between real-world and virtual
racing as the livery contest and the virtual track day with the BMW
M customer racing car. BMW Motorsport SIM Racing followed all these
projects with intense media coverage.
“The BMW M4 GT4 is a superb example of what we mean when
we emphasise that the BMW Motorsport SIM Racing projects are also
about synergies between real-world and digital racing. This pillar of
our racing programme is self-contained, but pays in to all of the BMW
Group’s motorsport,” says Rudolf Dittrich, Head of BMW Motorsport SIM
Racing. “Building the bridge between real-world and digital racing
makes a great deal of sense in the case of a BMW M customer racing car
such as the BMW M4 GT4. Many customers have explicitly asked for this
car to be implemented. On the one hand, to have spectacular virtual
races – particularly during the pandemic – and on the other hand, to
practice for the next real appearance at home, and in doing so have
almost exactly the same driving experience as in the real-world racing
car. Enabling a much larger customer base to test the BMW M4 GT4
virtually, and in doing so to get a good initial impression, might
result in one or more additional interested parties in a real car. No
doubt we will apply this principle again in future projects with BMW
Development of the digital BMW M4 GT4.
The digital version of the BMW M4 GT4 made its debut on the
simulation platform iRacing at the start of June. Over the course of
the year, the platform Assetto Corsa Competizione also introduced the
car. To make the driving experience as realistic as possible for the
sim racers, the BMW Motorsport engineers collaborated extremely
closely and transparently with the simulation platform
In the case of iRacing, the developers
received two large data packages of several gigabytes from BMW
Motorsport. Dittrich explained the process in a press release at the
end of May 2020 as follows: “The first package contained the CAD data
with all the specifications of the car parts. That is exactly the same
data that a supplier gets from us to produce the real component.
iRacing also scanned a real car, in this case the Turner Motorsport
BMW M4 GT4. The second large data package contained all the
information on driving dynamics. We use the same data set to do
simulate lap times or to operate our BMW Motorsport simulator, for
example. This data includes damper curves, engine performance curves,
axle kinematics, weight distribution, aerodynamic values: any figures
that we had calculated for the car we passed on to iRacing. iRacing
ended up knowing as much about the car as our customer teams do.”
Virtual track day with the BMW M4 GT4.
To give potential customers the opportunity to experience the
BMW M4 GT4 in the race simulator, the first BMW Motorsport SIM Racing
Track Day was held at the end of June. A selection of BMW M customer
racing drivers took to the track at the virtual Nürburgring and
received tuition from well-known “instructors”: BMW works driver
Philipp Eng, who enjoys great success in the simulator himself, and
the three sim racers Alexander Voß, Laurin Heinrich and Nils Koch. In
addition to the pure driving experience, the procedure during a race
was also simulated, with free practice sessions, qualifying and races.
Instructors used a voice app to give the participants valuable tips on
set-up work with digital race cars.
“With their various
commitments and activities, BMW has long demonstrated how seriously
they take the field of sim racing,” said Eng in the press release at
that time. “This event showed that once again. I think it’s great that
customer teams and drivers from the BMW Sports Trophy are also being
given the opportunity to collaborate with sim experts.”
BMW M4 GT4 livery contest.
In July 2020, BMW Motorsport SIM Racing announced the BMW M4 GT4
Livery Contest with the tagline “THE FUSION OF REAL WORLD AND SIM
RACING” – a design competition in which entrants from the sim racing
community were able to let their creativity run free, and even have
their dream design feature on the real-world
Chan Wen Bin prevailed over numerous rivals
with his suggested design for the BMW M4 GT4 and received a cash prize
of 3,000 US dollars and the joy of having his design used on a real
racing car. The BMW M customer racing team FK Performance contested
the season finale of the DTM Trophy in Hockenheim with the BMW M4 GT4
in the winning design in November 2020.
graphic designer from Malaysia won over not only the top-class jury
consisting of multi-media artist and BMW Art Car artist Cao Fei,
Michael Scully (Global Automotive Director @Designworks) and BMW works
driver Bruno Spengler with his design; BMW Motorsport fans also had
the opportunity to vote for their favourites via social media and
influence the decision.
“With the BMW M4 GT4 Livery
Contest we showed that in addition to racing drivers, you can also
integrate and speak to other communities, as well as support graphic
designers digitally via sim racing and make them more well known,”
BMW SIM Live on 5th December 2020.
BMW SIM Live 2020, which will be broadcast from 4.00 PM CET on
5th December via a livestream on the BMW Motorsport and BMW
Esports channels, will include the final races in the BMW SIM 120 Cup
and the BMW SIM M2 CS Racing Cup. When the season’s race winners come
together they will be competing for a total prize fund in excess of
BMW Motorsport SIM Racing will use the event
framework to present its extensive programme for the upcoming season.
This will be expanded significantly in many areas, to do justice to
the momentum of the rapidly emerging digital racing sector. Plans
include the one-make cup competitions, hardware developments and
collaborations. BMW Motorsport SIM Racing will present several
spectacular world premieres in these areas at BMW SIM Live 2020.
Live streams of the BMW SIM Live 2020:
BMW Motorsport Youtube:
BMW Motorsport Facebook: https://b.mw/sim_live_FB
BMW Motorsport Twitter: https://b.mw/sim_live_TW
BMW Motorsport Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/bmwmotorsport
BMW Esports Twitter: