New BMW Art Car to race at Rolex 24 Daytona
BMW’s history of art cars stretches back some 40 years and now the latest such car is to prove itself on the race track at the Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 28th and 29th 2017. Revealed yesterday at Art Basel Miami Beach, the BMW M6 GTLM has been designed by artist John Baldessari and was unveiled by President and CEO of BMW North America, Ludwig Willisch, and BMW Motorsport Director, Jens Marquardt.
The M6 GTLM revealed at Miami Beach is the 19th vehicle in the BMW Art Car collection. Its striking design was created by master of conceptual art, American John Baldessari and revealed at the Botanical Garden of Miami Beach. The 585hp M6 race car’s livery is less striking than some of its predecessors, but its subtle impact will definitely make it stand out. Baldessari uses colour, shapes and text to create visually stunning work, as evidenced on the M6, and is considered one of the most influential artists in his field still working today.
Speaking about the project, Baldessari said; “I have done only one work in my life involving a car before, and that was an image of a car. So for the BMW Art Car project, I entered uncharted territory, not just in terms of the subject, but also moving from two- to three-dimensional art. A challenge I did enjoy! The ideas all came at once: for instance, the red dot on the roof, so you can see it from above, FAST on one side and a picture of the car on the other side. I like the ambiguity, having two-dimension and three-dimension at the same time. Considering the car as an icon of contemporary life, my concept turned out playfully satirical, but it also highlights some of the trademark ideas that I use. So you can say, the BMW Art Car is definitely a typical Baldessari and the fastest artwork I ever created!”
One thing that stands out compared to its 18 predecessors is the minimalist approach to the car’s livery. Only red, yellow, blue and green were used for monochrome dots. There’s also a playful take on the car’s dimensions when the car is viewed in profile. The word ‘FAST’, emblazoned as a central typographic tells viewers who come to see it on the track or in the museum in a thoroughly unsubtle way, the car’s purpose.
The car follows examples by legendary artists including Calder, Hockney, Warhol and Koons and it will be on display from today at the Art Basel Miami Beach, which brings together over 200 leading galleries from around the world to present works from over 4,000 artists.
On the track
In January 2016, the BMW M6 GTLM made its debut on the Daytona International Speedway. It passed its first test with flying colours and was ranked fifth. The 19th BMW Art Car will be put to the test at this very same site and compete at the legendary 24 Hours of Daytona from January 28 to 29, 2017. Run by BMW Team RLL, the car will be entered in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC). Since 2009, the BMW Team RLL together with BMW Motorsport North America has won five titles and twelve victories, and the first season of the BMW M6 GTLM also was successful with a total of three podium finishes in Sebring, Watkins Glen and Road America.
With the M6 GTLM art car, BMW is hoping to continue this success with Team RLL stalwarts Bill Auberlen, Alexander Sims, Augusto Farfus and Bruno Sengler behind the wheel.