The BMW E46 GTR was originally made for the American Le Mans series (ALMS) back in 2001. The car immediately made its mark by proving to be one of the fastest, however Porsche and other carmanufacturers complained over the fact that BMW was allowed to participate with a car they felt was a prototype – and not a massproduction-car as demanded in the the regulations.
Turns out BMW found themselves a «loophole» in the regulation which allowed them to manufacture ten E46 M3 roadcars with V8-engines, so the GTR racing the ALMS would be able to run a 4-litre V8 instead of the straight six 3,2-litre normally found in the E46 M3. Just ahead of the 2002-season, the rules changed. The new rules stated that 1000 roadcars had to be built instead of the 10 that was possible pre-new rules. This made BMW pull out from the championship, and resulted in the E46 M3 GTR beeing extremely rare with only five ever built.
This specific car is not one of the five however, but a back-up chassie built. It is rebuilt in the period 08-10 by current owner and BMW Motorsport-enthusiast Burckard Kunz from Germany, in collaboration with Schirmer Motorsport. The body, rollcage and literally the entire car is exactly like the five ALMS-cars, but some components in addition to the engine differs to the original to make it easier to maintain, and more cost-efficient and less expencive to use.
Originally the engine in the GTR was a 4-litre V8 internally coded «p60b40», and it produced roughly 460 hp. Buckhard Kunz’ car has a E39 M5-engine in it – a V8 producing about 400 hp. Compared to the startgrid in «Gatebil Extreme», it might lack a bit of power to be first down the «Langsletta» (straight), but in the hands of the right driver, this car would be fast – add a couple turbos, and it’s probably a winner.
Buckhard Kunz (left) exhibited his BMW M3 GTR at the E30 Meets stand during Oslo Motorshow 2016. Accompanaying Kunz, was friend and mechanic Jüg Müller. Kunz is owner of the company Dynamic Car Solutions where you can both rent and buy race-simulators and racecars. This M3 GTR is one of the cars that can be rented. Dynamic Car Solutions also sells motorsport-parts for chassies and engines. Check out the website: www.dcs-racing.de
The rollcage and most of the interior is original GTR, with some modifications done. Notice the paddleshift-handles behind the steeringwheel. These are linked to a sequential gearbox from Drenth. Originally the E46 GTR runs a 6-speed Hewland dogbox, with traditional gear-pattern.
Clean and immaculate. The fueltank capable of 90 litres of gasoline is mounted where the backseats would normally be, partly to secure a optimal weightdistribution. Catch-tanks and double fuelpumps is a given, and at the rear you can see where the connections for air-jacks are located.
A huge rear-wing forces the car towards the ground. This needs to be adjusted just right for it to have the optimal effect, and not function as a air-brake – or contribute to lift the car during high speeds.
There’s no need to be a BMW-fanatic to enjoy this beast of a car! The wings on an original GTR is much wider than those found in the replica-kit that our friend Raimond Nordnes had on his GTR-replica. The GATEBIL-celeb Vidar Jødahl is actually racing Nordnes’ old GTR in the 2017-season at GATEBIL. Many may also recall the two E46 M3 GTR’s built by SS Performance from Skien, which participated at GATEBIL for years.
The huge GTR-wings makes for much «real estate» for the 11×18-inch BBS Motorsport wheels with large Michelin-tires to move about . Notice the exhaust exiting at the side of the car, just under the door. The location for filling gas, is at the rear side-windows both sides of the car. The entire bodykit naturally consists of carbonfibre.
COMEBACK IN 2004
The BMW E46 GTR made an official comeback with the AC Schnitzer-team at the legendary Nürburgring 24-hours race in 2004 and 2005. Placing first and second both years. The GTRs did equally good in the other races they entered these years, only to retire again the year after.
Burckhard Kunz’ car is mostly used for trackdays and show-races, as well as beeing exhibited at various carshows like this one at Oslo Motorshow 2016.
Car: BMW E46 M3 GTR 2001. Spare-chassie built and finished in 2010 by Kunz and Schrimer Motorsport. Engine: BMW E39 M5. 4-litre V8 with Motec Engine management, ignitioncut and tractioncontrol. Output: About 400 Hp. Gearbox: 6-speed Drenth sequential. Brakes: AP-Racing 6-pot with 381 mm rotors at the front. At the back it’s got 4-pot calipers and 312 mm rotors. Wheels: 11×18-inch 3-piece BBS Motorsport senterbolt front and back. Weight: An original GTR weighs 1120 kilograms.
Some additional pictures: