Michael Schrey took many prizes last year in the VLN endurance championship, he won the championship and the BMW M235i Racing Cup and moreover, as winner of the BMW Sports Trophy, he was finally elected most successful BMW privateer of the world. Apart from glory and trophies, he had the special privilege of a test drive in a BMW M6 GT3. The 34 years old race driver shares this experience in an interview.
You had the honour to be invited for a test drive at the Nürburgring in a BMW M6 GT3, would you like to share this experience with us?
Yes, I felt lots of anticipation. About six years ago, I already had the opportunity to drive an Alpina B6. One of the GT3 cars of the first generation. I remembered of course how great this had been. And the M6 now is definitely one of the GT cars with the latest technology. I had great fun and learned a lot. And I think, I wasn’t too bad, either.
Compared to the Alpina B6, what were the differences here?
Well, a little bit of everything was somehow different. This refers to the brakes, the downforce and also to the drive unit. Progresses were made in all these areas. The Alpina for example was at that time fitted with this relatively brutal compressor engine. This is of course not the only reason why the current car is easier to drive. Everything has become more enjoyable and smoother.
The Porsche RSR or the BMW M1, which you were driving at the ADAC 24h classics, have about 250 HP less. In which way did you have to adjust your way of driving to the bigger power unit under the bonnet?
With the GT3, every now and then you have the possibility to use the power accordingly. A car with less power does not excuse smaller mistake that you may make to that extend. On the other hand, you must as well make sure with the GT3 to take a lot of momentum out of the corners and accelerate again immediately. Just similarly to other race cars. The biggest difference is the really late and violent braking.
Did you make any special preparations for this test?
I had in advance got the M6 manual which contained some explanations of one or another button. I was aware that this was just a test. Weather conditions were fine, I was a little excited when I entered the cockpit, but finally, it is just a race car like any other. Retrospectively, I have to say that it took only two or three laps until I found that it was relatively easy to drive the car. Sure, you experience the limit or the abilities of the car only after a few laps. But then I felt perfectly comfortable in it.
Did you also drive over the Nordschleife?
Unfortunately, it was only the Grand Prix Circuit. At the Hatzenbach corner and at start / finish, yet, you have two points where you must be very committed to brake hard. With the Veedol chicane and the Bielstein corner, you have two points where you feel the aerodynamic somehow. Of course, I would have enjoyed completing one, two laps at the Nordschleife, but unfortunately, I didn’t have this opportunity.
What times did you set?
All together, I completed more than 50 laps. The times were somewhere around 1:26.00 minutes, which is not bad at all. The car was fitted with a new set of tyres but I don’t know of what kind of a mixture. It was extremely hot. Such a turbo engine is of course much more comfortable in cooler temperatures. The tyres faded extremely quickly due to the high asphalt temperatures.
Would you like to drive a GT3 permanently?
This is always also a question of the complete package. A GT3 is of course more fun and more competitive compared for example to the BMW Cup vehicle, that’s for sure. I would never say ‘never’. Basically, I am happy with the Cup vehicle. And finally, we had two successful VLN races again recently. I could continue with the programme and the achievements of last year and hope that I will be able to do so. And then, I am very happy with my situation.