Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Suck on it BMW!

Sometimes I really wonder about PR people. 

This morning on SpeedCafe there is an article about BMW and V8Supercars. Its quite damning in what BMW says about V8Supercars.

However, this comes from a brand involved in the DTM.

Lets think about that for a moment. 

The current DTM involves -  

  • Control spec chassis - CF monoque with crash structures rather than tube frame but still specified and used by all the manufacturers. 
  • Specified Wheel base and body dimensions - set at 2850mm and front and rear overhangs must be identical to all marques participating and all other dimensions are identical taken from a single reference point so height and width etc.
  • Control brakes - made by AP same as V8Supercars.
  • Control Hewland trans-axle.
  • Control 18 inch tyres in both a hard and soft compounds.
  • Control engine management system - supplied by Bosch.
  • Control fuel and tank capacity.
  • Control rear wing (including DRS but that's just BS anyway). 
  • Specified engine requirements - Engine is presently a V8 with capacity restricted to 4 liters, maximum of 4 valves per cylinder and has to breathe through 2x28mm inlet restrictors (mandated). 
  • Control Aerodynamics - I am led to believe by research online that both front and rear diffusers are a control item. There is also a "design line"  above which aero development is restricted to ensure the cars remain looking like the road cars they are based on and, looking at pictures of current DTM cars, that line is quite obvious. 
  • Control Suspension - again it follows a more "modern" layout using inboard shocks and springs with push-rods.
Even the exhaust outlet appears to be in a specified position! Its not clear if there is a control wheel to go along with the control tyres but picture evidence suggest there might not be or that there might be a range that can be chosen from. 

Items not controlled are aerodynamics below the design line, although there are limited and mandated areas where aerodynamic aids such as dive planes are permitted to be fitted, and engine development.

SO, pretty much everything that is controlled in V8Supercars is also controlled in DTM, but it does allow them to spend oodles of money on engine development, which they have to do within a capacity limit and having to use a set air restrictor size which will limit things like max horsepower and rpm etc, and they can spend oodles of money in a wind tunnel playing with a very limited area of the car looking for the final 100th's of seconds and makes the cars look distinctly "fake".

As an example of the oodles of money that can be spent - the 4 liter V8 fitted to the current DTM M3 is a bespoke racing engine developed by BMW especially for the DTM program. As best as I can tell from research online, it shares no common components with the road going M3 V8. Another is that none of the body panels need to be steel so all are made from carbon fiber. 

A current DTM car is estimated to cost around A$640,000 to build. Racing budgets for a single year's racing in the DTM have been estimated as high as A$42 MIllion. A current COTF V8Supercar is estimated to cost A$350,000 to build. V8Supercar teams such as Red Bull and HRT have had their yearly budgets estimated at around A$8 Million. There are rumors circulating on motorsport forums that the current BMW Z4 GTE/GT3 program costs LESS to run than the M3 DTM program!

So when Tom Noble says things like what he does in the article, he's actually being quite hypocritical because the current DTM M3 probably has less in common with the road going version than a V8Supercar version would have.

So in response to Tom Noble - you are currently NOT really racing an M3 in DTM and if you wanted, you COULD run a v8Supercar M3 with a BMW engine in it. Man up and say that you just DON'T WANT TO SPEND THE MONEY rather than criticising, what is considered, one of the best touring car championships in the world.

* The opinions expressed in this blog are entirely my own and in no way should be applied to or inferred to any individuals or organisations mentioned.

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