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2015 Goodbyes, BMW Z4 GT3 & GTE

The GT3 race version of the BMW Z4 and its GTLM racing cousin cede their position as the BMW factory favoured GT racing weapons from 2016 as the new BMW M6 GT3 (and GTLM) come on line.

It won’t see the end of the Z4 in frontline competition just yet but the passing of the baton to the M6 gives us an opportunity to take a look back at the history and achievements of the cars in competition.

The Z4 is an unusual beast in competition trim competing as a GTLM, GT3 and IMSA spec GTD with basically the same car.

Whilst Aston Martin, Porsche and Ferrari also contested all three classes, as did SRT with the Viper, there were much bigger differences between those machines from class to class.

The GT3 version of the car debuted in 2010 as BMW’s primary GT customer motorsport offer.

It was a relatively controversial package, powered by a wonderfully sonorous 4.4 litre V8 not seen in any roadgoing Z4.

The car proved a commercial hit, though not on the scale of some of its peers, a reputation for being one of the sweetest handling of all the GT3s balanced out by an, at times, all too clear shortfall in straight line speed.

The next six seasons would see the Z4 contest almost every significant GT3 race and Series worldwide and would see no little success too. In the major Championships and races we cover on DSC we’ve counted no fewer than 26 teams that ran at least one BMW Z4 GT3 at least once!

Roll of Honour GT3 and GTD

67 race or class wins in 12 major Championships

Major Title Wins

2011: Dubai 24 Hours Overall Winner, Need for Speed Team Schubert

BMW-Z4-Team-Schubert

2011: Super GT GT300 Class Champions, Team Ukyo, Nobuteru Taniguchi and Taku Bamba

BMW-Z4-Team-Ukyo

2013: Blancpain Endurance Series, Pro Cup – Marc VDS Racing

BES_Paul_Ricard_Race-15

2014: Tudor United Sportscar Championship GTD Class winners, Turner Motorsport

BMW-Z4-Turner

2014: British GT Championship Drivers Champion, Marc Attard, Ecurie Ecosse

BMW-Z4-Ecurie-Ecosse

2015: Total Spa 24 Hours, Marc VDS Racing

BMW-Z4-Marc-VDS-Racing

2015: European Le Mans Series GTC Class Winners, TDS Racing

BMW-Z4-TDS-Racing

2015: ADAC GT Masters Team Champions, Team Schubert

BMW-Z4-Team-Schubert-ADAC

Year by Year

2010

2 x race wins FIA GT3 European Championship, Team Schubert

BMW-Z4-Team-Schubert-2010

2011

2 x Race Wins Blancpain Endurance Series, Marc VDS Racing

BMW-Z4-Marc-VDS-Racing-2011

5 x Class Wins and Class Championship[ Super GT GT300 class, Team Ukyo
Dubai 24 Hours overall win, Team Schubert
1 x Race Win FIA GT3 Championship, Team Schubert
1 x Race Win FIA GT3 Championship, DB Motorsport

BMW-Z4-Silverstone

2012

4 x Race Wins Vita4One Racing FIA GT1 World Championship
2 x Race Wins Marc VDS Racing Team Blancpain Endurance Series

BMW-Z4-Marc-VDS-Racing-2012

1 x Class Win Vita4One Racing Blancpain Endurance Series

BMW-Z4-Vita4One

1 x Race Win Team Schubert VLN

BMW-Z4-Schubert

1 x Race Win DB Motorsport ADAC GT Masters
1 x Race Win Team Schubert ADAC GT Masters
1 x Class Win Team Ukyo Super GT Championship

BMW-Z4-Team-Ukyo-2012

2013

1 x Race Win Marc VDS Racing Team Blancpain Endurance Series
1 x Race Win Ecurie Ecosse British GT Championship

BMW-Z4-Ecurie-Ecosse-2013

1 x Class Win Ecurie Ecosse European Le Mans Series

BMW-Z4-Ecurie-Ecosse-ELMS-2013

2 x Class Wins Team Ukyo Super GT Championship
1 x Race Win DB Motorsport ADAC GT Masters
3 x Race Wins Team Schubert ADAC GT Masters
1 x Race Win Team Schubert VLN

BMW-Z4-Team-Schubert-2013

1 x Race Win Marc VDS Racing Team VLN

2014

4 x Class Wins (and Championship) Turner Motorsport Tudor United Sportscar Championship
1 x Class Win ROAL Motorsport Blancpain Endurance Series

BMW-Z4-ROAL

2 x Class Win TDS Racing Blancpain Endurance Series
1 x Race Win Team Schubert Blancpain Sprint Series

BMW-Z4-Team-Schubert-2014

1 x Class Win Marc VDS Racing European Le Mans Series
2 x Race Wins and Drivers Championship Ecurie Ecosse British GT Championship
2 x Class Wins Team AAI GT Asia
2 x Class Wins Team Ukyo Super GT

BMW-Z4-Team-Ukyo-2014

1 x Class Win LM Corsa Super GT

BMW-Z4-LM-Corsa

2 x Race Wins Team Schubert ADAC GT Masters
1 x Race Win Marc VDS Racing Team VLN

2015

Spa 24 Hours overall Win Marc VDS Racing Team
2 x Class Wins and GTC Class Championship TDS Racing European Le Mans Series

BMW-Z4-TDS-Racing-2015

1 x Class Win Boutsen Ginion Blancpain Endurance Series

BMW-Z4-Boutsen-Ginion

1 x Race Win BMW Team Brazil Blancpain Sprint Series

BMW-Z4-Team-Brazil

1 x Class Win Turner Motorsport Tudor United Sportscar Championship
2 x Race Wins Ecurie Ecosse British GT Championship

BMW-Z4-Ecurie-Ecosse-2015

1 x Race Win Walkenhorst Racing VLN

BMW-Z4-Walkenhorst-Racing

4 x Race Wins and Team Championship Team Schubert ADAC GT Masters

BMW Z4 GTE

In late 2012, BMW Motorsport added a GTE version of the car as a replacement for the M3 GT/GT2.

The new car was a controversial addition to the IMSA GTLM class, the Z4 GTE using the Z4 body, and same 4.4 litre V8 engine as the GT3 car, the major differences were in aerodynamics and electronic systems, the car though not FIA homologated for GTE.

BMW-Z4-GTE-Daytona-1

The car only ever raced for two different teams, debuting in 2013 at the 2013 12 Hours of Sebring by BMW Team Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing ahead of a three season, two car effort that saw five race wins in ALMS and TUSCC competition.

BMW-Z4-GTE-Daytona-2

And, rather unexpectedly perhaps, there was a last hurrah style single season of competition in Europe with a one car effort by Marc VDS Racing in the 2015 European Le Mans Series netting a race win in the final European race for the car and the very final race for the team at Estoril.

ELMS_Estoril_Race-05

Other Notable Teams And Liveries

Triple Eight Racing: Britsh GT, Blancpain Endurance and Dubai 24 Hours

BMW-Z4-GTE-888

BMW-Z4-GTE-888-2

Saudi Falcons: Dubai 24 Hours

BMW-Z4-GTE-Saudi-Falcons

Team Studie: Super GT

BMW-Z4-GTE-Team-Studie

Team AAI: GT Asia, Asian Le Mans Series

BMW-Z4-GTE-Team-AAI

Barwell Motorsport: British GT Championship

BMW-Z4-GTE-Barwell-Motorsport

BMW-Z4-GTE-Barwell-Motorsport-2

Team Russia by Barwell: ELMS and Blancpain Endurance Series

BMW-Z4-GTE-Team-Russia

BMW Sports Trophy Team India: Blancpain Sprint Series

BMW-Z4-GTE-Team-India

ROAL Motorsport: Special Spa 24 Hours Livery 2015

BMW-Z4-GTE-ROAL-Motorsport

Marc VDS Racing: Special Spa 24 Hours Livery 2015. Let’s Fight Cancer

BMW-Z4-GTE-Marc-VDS-Racing