A Look Inside: The Rahal Letterman ALMS GT BMW M3 Coupes
By Mike Kojima, photos by Jeff Naeyaert
Thanks to our friends at Volk Wheels, the technical staff at MotoIQ had a special opportunity to get a close insider's look at BMW's uber-trick factory works BMW M3's that Rahal-Letterman racing campaign in ALMS's GT class. If you do a google search on these cars, you will not find much information on them because until now, no one that cares has gotten a really close look at these amazing machines. Most reports have pretty pictures of the cars and stuff about the “Story of Joy” marketing campaign that the cars are promoting but in typical MotoIQ form, we will take you inside like no one else has before.
The Rahal Letterman BMW M3's are a factory effort and are campaigned in ALMS in the GT category by Bill Auberlen, Tommy Milner, Joey Hand and Dirk Muller. The GT class cars must retain the factory unibody or body in white but are allowed quite a bit of leeway in their modifications. In short, these M3's are like something you might build for Time Attack's Unlimited class if you had money–a lot of it.
|This was as close as we were allowed to the engine. It could be a carbon shrouded lawnmower in there for all we know!|
We will first take you through the engine since we don't know very much about it. The team's engineers were very quiet when we asked them about the engines specs and we were not allowed within 20 feet of the engines or any internal components. We do know that the engines are V8 derivatives of the factory M3 engines. They displace 4 liters and pump out 485 hp and 368 lb/ft of torque vs the stock M3's 415 hp. The stock block and cylinder head castings are used. No titanium is used anywhere in the engine under homologation rules.