With the BMW Z4 GT3’s FIA homologation coming to an end, so do Peter Posavac’ adventures with ‘Zetti’. No longer eligible for VLN’s SP9/GT3 class, the last of the Mohicans has decided to put up his Z4 race car and race taxi for sale, ending the long haul of one of the most beloved GT3 cars at the Nürburgring.
During its ten-year lifespan, the BMW roadster kept calling Peter Posavac. After crafting his skills in the Mini Challenge and a BMW 320 Diesel in VLN, the flamboyant driver stepped up into the GT3 class in 2010 with Dörr Motorsport before joining Schubert Motorsport. It was the first year of the new BMW Z4 GT3 and an experience that left a lasting impression.
“The BMW Z4 GT3 was the first GT3 car that I ever went onto the race track with and it was so much fun that I bought it three years ago,” Peter Posavac says.
“I’ve raced the Z4 with Schubert, they basically developed the car, and so I met all the professionals driving with them like Claudia Hürtgen and Hans-Joachim Stuck. Later, Schubert became a factory team so they had no place for amateur drivers anymore and I moved to Dörr Motorsport driving the same car. Then Dörr changed to McLaren and I drove that for a year – it was a disaster! With Kremer Racing I drove one season in a Porsche, and then I went back to BMW with Walkenhorst where I drove the Z4 again and sporadically also the M6.”
Although Posavac quickly fell in love with the Z4, it didn’t start out that way. Instead, racing the Z4 began as a marriage of convenience, the driver from Essen says.
“The Z4 was the only available GT3 at the time – they were the cars the teams I was with were racing. I fell in love with it. It has a V8 engine which I think is the best thing you can drive at the racetrack – I hate turbos! It also gives you that special feeling as if you’re driving a go-kart because the car is so short. It’s so aggressive and tricky to drive, that’s what I love about motorsport.”
With a season and a half of experience in GT3 at the Nürburgring behind him, Posavac found himself on top of the podium at the 24 Hours of Barcelona in 2011 – his only outright GT3 victory to date.
“My overall win in the 24 Hours of Barcelona is my fondest memory of the car. It was in 2011 and we finished first on the podium, my first-ever overall podium. As an amateur, that’s a memory that will stay with you forever. I drove with Edward Sandström, Lars Stugemo and Michael Outzan. We led almost the whole race; it was quite impressive.”
The far bigger part of this love story took place at the Nürburgring, however, as it’s the VLN championship where Posavac spends most of his time in racing.
“I’ve had so many unbelievable top ten finishes at the Nürburgring, considering the competitive circumstances there. I was on the podium once, but we got a time-penalty for failing to meet the minimum pitstop time and finished P4 – it’s my saddest memory! It would’ve been my first overall podium in VLN.
“And when you see the fans responding to that car, it’s unbelievable. They love the sound and the whole appearance of the car, it’s unreal.”
Even when the BMW M6 GT3 came around, it was all Z4 for Posavac. Having bought his Zetti, he went to Walkenhorst Motorsport to continue racing the Z4 alongside the team’s M6 machines.
“The M6 is much quicker but it doesn’t give you the feedback that the Z4 gives you,” the 54-year-old explains his decision to stick with the previous generation BMW GT3. “This car is real race car driving, for me this is the real heart of motorsport.
“I tested the M6 with Henry [Walkenhorst] and I was quicker than in the Z4 in my first lap on the Nordschleife but it didn’t give me the feedback. As a race car, the M6 is beautiful as well, but for me, I don’t like turbo engines – I don’t like the characteristic of it – it’s just not my cup of tea.”
With the Z4’s homologation expiring in 2019, it’s finally time to say goodbye to Zetti. After many years of loyal service, Posavac hopes to sell his two BMW Z4 GT3s – a race car and a race taxi – to someone with the same amount of passion.
“I’m trying to sell it to an enthusiast. It comes with the full package including lots of spare parts, for almost half a million euro. It’s two GT3 cars: The only taxi worldwide available and only twelve or fourteen Z4 GT3s are left.
“BMW won’t offer support anymore, but you can get all the spare parts. We have a brand-new engine in the car that’s being sold, so BMW has a few engines and gearboxes available and I have lots of brake disks and all that kinds of shit hanging around – and lots of spare parts!”
The BMW Z4 GT3’s time is over, but Peter Posavac’ isn’t. For next season, the gentleman driver is looking to finally make the change to the BMW M6 GT3 – or maybe not. And there are still a few races left that the amateur racer would like to cross off his bucket list.
“I’m going to buy myself [a seat] with Henry [Walkenhorst], probably on an M6. Or with Schubert, I had contact today about the Porsche Carrera Cup because I drive Porsche myself on the road. That’s what I’m interested in – I’m going to buy a seat somewhere.
“I’m also quite interested in the Kyalami 9 Hours. I’ve recently followed that race and it looked quite swell. The Spa 24 Hours is also on my bucket list – and there’s the Nürburgring 24 Hours, of course.
“If it fits in next year, I’ll do them all, but I’m getting older and the body has to do the work as well. I’m 54 now and it’s time to come to an end. You drive against all those heroes there – and I’ve met Augusto here at the Essen Motor Show, and Jörg Müller, my idol who has been with me on the car this year – the level is quite high. On the Nordschleife I’m quite competitive, on the other tracks, I don’t know. Those drivers are professionals, I don’t know how I’ll measure up there.”