Speaker 1: Oh, what a wonderful thing. All this can be yours. About 250 K BMW's, new M four is one of the sweetest drivers cars on the market, but there's another BMW that makes that look a little bit soft. This is the BMW, M four GT four, a 500 horsepower, 3,100 pound track. Only monster that I just got the privilege of driving myself. And you now get to come along with me for a couple hot laughs [00:00:30] or we're headed to get onto the track in the F four G two four to grab a first gear. You use a shifter, just like a normal M four, but that's about the only thing. That's the same as an M four to adjust your seating position. You can't actually, this is a little bit like the four GT. Let's say where this chair is actually bolted directly to the chassis of the car.
Speaker 1: So if your, uh, legs are too long or too short, or your arms are too long or too short, then that means that what you actually do is you move the steering wheel forward back, and the pedals can slide forward back as well. A little bit like the 4g [00:01:00] T, but I am now I'll strapped in. We're coming up to speed. I've got a warmup lap here. I've got another, I think it's an M three ahead of me there. So he is gonna pace me through my warmup lap as I get going. And, uh, yeah, this feels a little bit different than a normal M four.
Speaker 1: The steering wheel of course, is, uh, unlike the road car in a big way. It is a style thing. U Tesla fans will definitely appreciate that. But unlike a model Y full range of lock to lock is, I [00:01:30] don't know, maybe 180 degrees. I only really need to do that to go around a hairpin turn. So a yo works absolutely perfectly here. The other big difference is actually underneath my left foot. The brake fiddle in this thing was like, I'm kicking a brick floor. The pedal barely moves at all. Even when I'm leading on this thing, as hard as I can nicely, there's a readout on the dashboard here that tells me exactly how hard I am stepping on the brake [00:02:00] pedal. And, uh, bill Alan told me how hard I should be stepping a on it somewhere in the order of I should be developing between 50 and 60 bar pressure from the brake system and it reads out in there.
Speaker 1: So my goal is to try to stop on this pedal hard enough to get up to that point and maybe engage the abs. We'll see how we're doing the other thing, bill a told me, and trust me when or BMW racing, great bill a tells you to do something. You should probably do it. You told me to start out in wet mode here, which is exactly what I'm doing. There is a traction control [00:02:30] system in this car that will help you to, uh, avoid spinning this thing, which is exactly what I don't want to do today. So we're in wet mode right now. We're coming up to temperature and we're gonna actually start running some hot labs here at thermal Raceway. I should mention, by the way, I'm at thermal Raceway, which is a very, a nice private club. If you're lucky enough to, uh, be a member here, then congratulations.
Speaker 1: I'm lucky enough just to play here for the day. All right, we're coming around the final corner on the front straight. Let's see how we do in the four GT four foot to the floor. Oh [00:03:00] yes. Now we're running somewhere around four 50 horsepower today. The car has various different power sticks. They call them basically you can plug in a USB stick and get as much or as little power as you need, based on which racing organization that you're racing with. Right now, we're running the same configuration that, uh, Mr. Alan would run on his car in the race. So again, we're in the mid 400 horsepower range, roughly the same as a road going M four. [00:03:30] Uh, the feedback of this is phenomenal. As you can imagine, get the tail out a little bit, there being bolted directly to the floor of the car. They do that to reduce the amount of flex in the seat so that you get a much more direct feeling from the car. And I can feel every little ripple in the pavement here, right through my posterior.
Speaker 1: All right, coming on the back stray here. I have no idea how fast I'm going, because although I have a digital display [00:04:00] in front of me with all sorts of telemetry, uh, speed is, oh, there it is. Okay. That was about 130. Let's see if we can do a little better next time. Whoa, left hand or bit of a next stretcher here. The cover feels so incredibly well poised. It was cool to not touch the brakes as I transitioned in this right hand or here and just a little bit after the throttles, I go to the left again.
Speaker 1: If you need the nose to correct just a little bit off the throttle, bring that nose right around. Oh, [00:04:30] this is so nicely balanced. We've got a seven speed. D C T here and again, unlike the road car, this one will not shift for you. And the shift paddles. We behind the wheel here are very small and incredibly precise. Just a little flick of your middle fingers. All you need to grab the next gear. We're running third gear through the majority of this course. I can just go to fourth for a second. Before I dive back down again to third, I've been debating about second or third in these hairpins, but I was advised that [00:05:00] third is probably the way to go to get a little better grip coming out and again, down the back straight again, here we go. I got a little better run this time than last time. See, we can get down to the three before we hit the brakes. Oh, we're up over one 30 this time. Hard on the brakes. Oh boy. Oh, that's a good feeling. Six point harness keeps me nice and tucked in here.
Speaker 1: It is getting a little loose through those transitions, which again is so much fun just to feel right on the edge of it. Oh, [00:05:30] I'm back on the front street again. Oh, this is a really good time. Now you would think that a race car would be really punishing and brutal, hard to drive, but of lot of GT four cars and GT three cars, two they're actually, they're not that bad. These cars are not really making more horsepower than the street cars. If anything, they're often running less power than a street car for balance and performance reasons to make the racing more, uh, even and more interesting. And you get so much grip from these tires [00:06:00] that she can really, really push it in the corners. Get that incredible feedback from the, the chassis and from the suspension.
Speaker 1: And it's just really mind bogging how hard you can push these cars, but still have a good time and not really feel like you're I, your head until you get of course of that last 10th. And that's when things get interesting. All right. Speak of interesting. We're going up to dry mode. We're gonna try second gear in this corner and see if I get a little more wheels spin coming out of it. Oh, no, that still [00:06:30] felt pretty good. Now this time, I'm gonna see if I can get up to that 60 bar metric for breaking hard. Oh, Hey. Yes. We get up to 70. I actually felt the abs a little bit there. The pedal went just a little soft. This car does have abs, but it's not like the abs in your car, no vibration under your breaking foot. Just a little bit of a softness the pedal for a moment. It was the car figures out what you're trying to do [00:07:00] and right in the corner, right around again, the car is definitely more lively in dry mode. That is for sure, a little less warning when it starts to step out on you.
Speaker 1: But this is a really great platform to learn on because the feedback is so good. And there's not so much power that you're necessarily gonna get yourself in trouble coming outta the first lab. And because you have those power sticks, you can start with a relatively [00:07:30] low horsepower car if you want to. And then as you get better, you can dial it up until you're hanging the tail out a little bit more. Then I'm probably comfortable doing right now. All right, let's try to run through a quick lap here at thermal. This is the south course, a lot of very tight hairpin corners late apexing is really the name of the day. Hard on the break at four. Come around here again. I'm gonna try third. Try to get back to the apex here. There we go.
Speaker 1: [00:08:00] When in doubt late apex is usually the way to go, but definitely around this course, it seems to be very set up for that kind of thing. This corner though is really interesting. You kind of diamond it off, come in, hit this first apex and then come trying to take too much of the curb and then come back for the second apex there. I took a little too much of the curb there, quick left, or right you here quick as you can. And then back around another [00:08:30] hair turn. This is one of the most important corners on the course because it takes you on this long, long back straight, where we really let the car stretch its legs.
Speaker 1: Just up to fourth here, it's gonna get into fifth for a little bit, again, up to about one 30 and then hard on the brakes, as hard as anywhere on the track, and then gotta transition off the brakes onto the throttle to a steady state here, come around, catch this late, late, late apex, [00:09:00] and then steady throttle through this left and right and left back in the front straight. Oh, it's a pretty warm day. I'm very thankful that I have air conditioning today. Interestingly, the AC in this car, there's an air conditioning duct on my right knee here, but there's also one in the small of my back, which I'm gonna tell you is delightful. Interestingly, the AC only works when you're on the brakes, because of course you don't want to give up any horsepower to [00:09:30] this system, but on a hot day like today, it's in the, uh, mid upper nineties here in Palm Springs today on a day like today with a sun beaten down, it is absolutely wonderful to have a nice cooling breeze, but speaking of cooling, I've been asked to cool the car down.
Speaker 1: So I'm gonna idle through my last lap around thermal here and see if I can collect my thoughts. And oh, maybe let's just go to voiceover and I'll wind things up from there. That was a hell of a lot of fun. I didn't get as many laps out of liked [00:10:00] and having to slow down and wait for my chase car to catch up was a bit of a bummer, but it was enough to get a sense for what a joy, the M four GT four is to hustle around the track. I've run many lap in the GT, four in iRacing. And I'm very sorry to report that there is nothing like the real thing.