World-firsts for SA's racing 3's
BMW South Africa, in conjunction with ADF Motorsport, has unveiled the brand-new BMW 335i sedan race cars that will compete in the SA Production Car championship in 2012 - and, it's hoped, at the Nurburgring 24-Hour.
FAST AND FASTER: BMW SA's world-first 335i for the racetrack - and the showroom version. Image gallery
The car, the first sixth-generation BMW 3 Series race car in the world, will compete for the first time at the WesBank Super Series race meeting at Killarney in Cape Town on March 31, 2012.
The race car is based on the latest BMW 3 Series sedan just launched in South Africa and was completely built locally by ADF Motorsport, which manages Team Afrox, and it will be driven by 2010 National Production Car champion Anthony Taylor and Etienne van der Linde.
Taylor and Van der Linde also aim to race the cars internationally at the 2012 Nurburgring 24-hour race later in 2012.
Donovan van Heerden, Team Afrox’s team boss, says it took just over six weeks to build the cars at a cost of R2-million (including labour).
Van Heerden added: “It has always been important to us to work together with our partners on a long-term basis and to celebrate success on the race track. The partnership with BMW SA is a perfect example of this.
“From the Bridgestone Production Car title in 2010 right through to the numerous wins in the 2011 championship, we’ve achieved many successes. Our aim is to continue to do so with the new BMW 335i race car.”
The car, weighing just 1360kg, uses the new optimised, TwinPower Turbo, in-line, six-cylinder engine from the BMW 335i in standard configuration but the engine management system, exhaust and turbo have been modified for racing. Local race regulations, however, set the turbo boost lower at a maximum of 0.7 bar and a 40mm restrictor is employed on the turbo inlet.
However, even in its restricted form, the race cars produce more than 300kW/600Nm. The standard street car makes 225kW from 5800-6000rpm and 400Nm from 1200-5000rpm.
In addition, the race cars will make significant use of BMW’s recently launched BMW M Performance parts range to showcase customisation options are available to buyers.
Rod Baxter, general manager of after-sales supply at BMW SA, explained: “The partnership with ADF Motorsport is a big step for us in showcasing M Performance parts available for customers, especially those who appreciate performance parts in their vehicles and are eager to have them fitted in the new BMW 3 Series.
“We’ve also installed a MoTeC engine control unit with the new M1 system - making this the first in the world to run direct injection on a production-based race car – as well as GPS data-logging which draws its information from the engine management system to warn the driver of any electronic faults during racing.”
He added modestly: “We anticipate a successful season...”
The cars also have 370mm M-performance front disc brakes, 18” BBS rims and a roaring Akrapovic exhaust system.