Bathurst’s hills were alive with the sound of Munich yesterday when three BMW M6 GT3s were unleashed around Mount Panorama during a private test session.
As well as providing a haven of data for engineers, the three-hour test served as a valuable learning session for both international and local drivers .
German DTM ace and factory driver Marco Wittmann, who will race in the 12 Hour with Steve Richards and Mark Winterbottom next year, had his first taste of the internationally famed circuit.
Meanwhile, the test provided V8 Supercar drivers Mark Winterbottom and Chaz Mostert their first dabble in a GT3 car.
Joining Mostert in a privately backed M6 GT3 run by Marc Cars Australia was Paul Morris and Morgen Haber.
Local legends Tony Longhurst, Mark Skaife, and Russell Ingall gained further experience in the Castrol Vodafone M6 GT3, but weren’t joined by factory driver Timo Glock, who will race with them next year.
Adam Baker, BMW Motosport’s head of Race Operations, was on hand to oversee the whole shakedown and told MOTOR the varied experience levels were most interesting.
“We had data overlays between the cars and the drivers and tried to match the programs so the cars had the same amount of fuel and relatively similar tyre life so the drivers could compare.”
Baker said the young guns shone most in the M6 GT3s, which are 4.4-liter twin turbo V8 powered with carbon fibre bodies and advanced aero packages.
“Chaz was quite impressive with it being his first GT experience, which was interesting for us to see,” he revealed.
“Marco having to just learn the track, it was something he had under control relatively quickly.
“Those guys for us were essentially the reference, between those two we had excellent benchmarks.”
Mostert is believed to have run mid-2:03s, which is off-pace compared to Tekno Autosport’s 2:01 pole lap with Shane van Gisbergen at the wheel of a McLaren 650S GT3.
However, for a day focused on testing and data acquisition, BMW says it’s hard to make comparisons without as much rubber on the track.
Even then, the cars looked quick to across the top through an iPhone. Have a look for yourself above.