In the moment: Firing BMW’s M4 GTS round the ’Ring, CAR+ March 2016

Published: 17 February 2016

► BMW's M4 GTS laps the 'Ring in 7min 28sec
► We speak with Joerg Weidinger on how he did it
► The GTS's aero kept it secure close to the limit 

1) ‘I think I was close to the limit…’

‘We only had one shot at setting the time. Although we were there for a whole week, it was raining Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday… On Thursday it stopped raining, we did damper set-up, and one lap in the evening. I think I was close to the limit, but I don’t know. I didn’t have time to practice…’

2) ‘The ’Ring set-up is  the road set-up’

‘The GTS has more neutral handling than the regular M4, partly because of the 20-inch rear tyres. With all the suspension and aero options, I calculated 25,000 potential set-ups. The Nordschleife setting is our street set-up. We set it up on the ’Ring, then checked it worked on the road.’ 

3) ‘Full throttle, easy’

‘How does it feel? Whoah! The aero, there’s so much more downforce. You trust the car much more on crests and uneven sections where you’d be tentative in the M4; here it’s just full throttle, easy. It’s more stable, but more exciting, because you have to learn to trust the aero.’

4) ‘Must trust the car’

‘At the end of the Kallenhard section, a very technical part of the track with lots of curves, we reach around 700degC on the front brake discs. Again, you have to trust the car, trust the grip, trust the aerodynamic downforce. It’s a stable car, [but] it needs warm tyres to be fast.’

5) ‘No more mistakes’

‘We come to the six-minute mark and the lap is almost at its end. There can be no more mistakes. I need to be fast, but not too  fast. Galgenkopf, the double right-hander leading onto the very long back straight, is very important; we need all the exit speed we can get.’

6) ‘It feels like a perfect lap’

‘Seven minutes. No mistakes. It feels like a perfect lap. At the end of the long straight we’ll reach around 280kph (174mph). Last corner’s here; brake for the last time, third gear, last left-hander, last right-hander; that’s it: 7min 28sec.’ 

Read more from the March 2016 issue of CAR magazine

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, automotive design graduate, Radical champ

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