BMW M Motorsport and sim racing hardware manufacturer Fanatec created a world first with the joint development of the steering wheel for the BMW M4 GT3, which unites real-world and virtual racing in an unprecedented way.
The 30-minute documentary “Fusion: Motorsport meets SIM racing” describes the pioneering work in the development of the steering wheel, which works perfectly in both racing cars and simulators, in detail – from the first idea viewed with scepticsim, through the initial meetings and various construction phases, to testing.
The documentary is available on BMW Motorsport YouTube via the following link: https://b.mw/Fanatec_Steering_Wheel . It can also be watched on motorsport.tv, several European, Asian ans Australian TV channels and on the inflight entertainment systems of around 130 different airlines – including Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines and Etihad.
The film starts with the world debut of the BMW M4 GT3 steering wheel at the BMW SIM Live event at BMW Welt in Munich (GER) in December 2020. Getting to the point of BMW works driver Philipp Eng (AUT) performing a live demonstration of the steering wheel in action in both a racing car and the simulator was the result of many months of intensive development – and the time of the major endurance tests on the racetrack is yet to come.
All of the project’s protagonists are given their say in the documentary, including Head of BMW SIM Racing Rudolf Dittrich and Fanatec CEO Thomas Jackermeier, as well as the engineers responsible for the BMW M4 GT3 and the steering wheel, and BMW works drivers and professional sim racers.
Everyone involved creates a very good feel for the obstacles that needed to be overcome and how well the collaboration between all the departments had to work to get the desired end result.
“With unprecedented collaboration, the BMW M Motorsport and Fanatec engineers developed a steering wheel like none ever seen before in the history of racing,” said Dittrich.
“They showed courage, pioneering spirit and creativity, and raised the connection between real-world motorsport and sim racing to a totally new level in the process. I’d like to thank everyone involved. I’m delighted that this development process is being portrayed superbly in this documentary. The film highlights how seriously BMW SIM Racing takes its 360-degree approach, and with how much vigour hardware developments and technological innovations are expedited.”
Thomas Jackermeier said: “For Fanatec, the collaboration with BMW M Motorsport is a bold and important step in the company’s development. For the first time, we designed a steering wheel that can be used not only in the sim rig, but also in a real-life racing car. With all our experience we felt ready for this project, and the tests so far prove that we have done a good job. Seeing our steering wheel in action for the first time in the BMW M4 GT3 shakedown gave me goose bumps – and watching the documentary did as well.”