As part of an ambitious plan of releasing more cars in its open beta testing, SimRaceway has launched two of the American Le Mans Series' highest performing GT cars – including the 2010 and 2011 class champion BMW – to its lineup.
The Maserati MC12, the first, which last raced in ALMS in 2007 and won the pole position at that year's Petit Le Mans, is the most recent addition – priced at $8.36 or the similar equivalent of game credits.
After a 37-year hiatus, Maserati re-entered motorsport in 2004 with the MC12. The vehicles were purpose built utilizing the underpinnings of a Ferrari Enzo to race in the FIA GT1 World Championship. In only its second season, the streaking tridents finished first and second in the GT1 class.
The MC12's racing pedigree that made it so successful on the track made its way into the homologation vehicle built for the street. With only 25 road going variants produced in 2005 (50 in total) it is one of the most sought after models to bear the Maserati name.
The performance of the road-going version has not been unadulterated; the 6.0L Enzo-derived V-12 sings octaves that would have the Three Tenors approve of its Italian roots. With 620hp and 480lb-ft of torque on tap, the car can reach 125mph from a standstill in less than 10 seconds. Couple this motor with a body that was made for downforce, and you have a car that instills confidence the faster it goes.
The BMW, by contrast, is based on the E92 M3, BMW Motorsport's high-performance coupe variant of the E90. The E92 M3 GT2 was announced in 2008 and earmarked for a track debut in the 2009 ALMS season, bringing to an end the manufacturer's two-year absence from the competition.
Despite its substantial front splitter, large rear wing, wide-body aero kit sculpted using F1 technology, and road-hugging stance, at launch there was no mistaking the car's heritage – and no risk of a repeat of the homologation issues that led to its ALMS predecessor, the super-exclusive M3 GTR, withdrawing from the competition.
It used the same 4.0-liter V8 engine as its road-going relation (albeit a race-tuned version capable of cranking out more than 485hp) while the addition of a sequential 6-speed racing transmission added the final ingredient required to turn BMW's beauty into a track-taming beast.
The result included the 2010 ALMS Teams' Championship and success at prestigious events including the 24 Hours Nürburgring and the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Like the Maserati, the BMW available for in-game purchase at one 100,000th of its real-world value, at $6.12.
More cars should be released by the game in the days and weeks to come, including a number of McLarens per its earlier contract announcement with the simulation.