Seven Historic BMW Race Cars Return to the Track
BMW’s 100th birthday continues to be celebrated globally, and nowhere less so than in the USA. Beginning tomorrow, August 18th, and continuing until the 21st, the 2016 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion will see BMW USA running seven historic race cars on track. Not only that, but as BMW is the featured marquee at the Rolex Reunion, the brand will be represented by 64 vintage BMW race cars ranging from a strong group of 1930’s 328s to the all-conquering BMW V12 LMR of 1999.
If that wasn’t enough, The Rolex Reunion promises to be the largest gathering of BMW M1 ProCars ever assembled in the USA. Finally, all five factory IMSA specification 3.0 CSLs will be back together for the first time since they raced in1975 and 1976. Within the array of heritage BMWs are some stand-out cars.
1970 BMW ALPINA 2002ti
The Touring Internationale version of the 2002 was the M5 of its day. This racing 2002ti was built by ALPINA GmbH in 1970 and features ALPINA signature Weber side draft carburettors, engine upgrades, flared fenders and three piece ALPINA alloy wheels. It was campaigned by Competition of Torrence in SCCA events in 1971 and 1972. After 24 years in storage, BMW of North America bought the car and entered it into the 1996 Monterey Historic Races. It has since been restored to its original 1970 BMW ALPINA Team Orange livery, and will be driven at this year’s event in the Group 3B: 1963-1973 Manufacturers Championship on Sunday 21st.
1975 BWM 3.0 CSL IMSA Group 4 No. 25
The 3.0 CSL race cars were the first to sport the new official colors of BMW Motorsport—red, purple and blue. Nicknamed the ‘Batmobile’ by fans, the CSL became one of the most successful production racers of all time, continuing to take wins into the late 70s despite production finishing in 1975. This 3.0 CSL was one of a group of five chassis campaigned in North America in the 1975 & ’76 IMSA Camel GT Series in Group 4 specifications. The CSL enjoyed considerable success winning at Sebring, Riverside, Laguna Seca, Daytona and Talladega in 1975. A different chassis also won the 1976 24 hours of Daytona. With all five cars still in existence, they are expected to be reunited in Monterey with the Number 25 car competing in Group 4A: 1973-1981 FIA, IMSA with races on Saturday, August 20th.
1981 BMW M1 IMSA Group 4 No. 2
The BMW M1, designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and powered by a Paul Rosche-designed 3.5-liter, twin-cam 6-cylinder “M88” engine, mounted amid-ship, debuted at the 1978 Paris Auto Show to the admiration of the world’s motoring press. The demise of the series it was designed for meant that it ended up running in the European ProCar Series with success. A few of the M1 ProCars were imported to the US, modified for endurance racing and successfully raced in the popular IMSA GTO Series. This M1 IMSA Group 4 (Chassis No. 4301223) was the spare car for the BMW of North America team and appears to have seen limited racing action. It will run in Group 4A in two races on Saturday, August 20th alongside the 3.0 CSL.
1996 McLaren F1 GTR
This car needs few introductions. The long-time production car speed record holder (at 231mph) was powered by a BMW-developed 6.0-litre V12 developing 636 hp. This GTR is one of 28 race car versions constructed, differing only slightly from the production version and achieving notable success in the 24 Hours of Le Mans among many other victories globally. This car, chassis #17R sponsored by BMW of North America, had a three race career in 1996. It finished 13th in the 1996 pre-Le Mans race, 4th in the 4 Hours of Silverstone and 8th in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In original and unrestored condition, it will compete in Group 5B: 1981-1991 FIA manufacturers Championship, IMSA GTO/GTP with races on Sunday, August 21st.
1998 BMW (E36) M3 GT-2
This car is one of the specially prepared BMW M3 race cars that won both the 1997 and 1998 Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ Championship in PSCR SportsCar GT-2 category for production-based cars. This car and its teammates won 17 straight races in these seasons. This chassis won its class at both the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1998 and the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1997. Its 3.2-litre straight six was tuned to 425hp and with abundant weight saving, it could hit 175mph. It will run in Group 5B: 1981-1991 FIA manufacturers Championship, IMSA GTO/GTP with races on Sunday, August 21st.
1999 BMW V12 LMR
Jointly developed with Formula 1 partner WilliamsF1, the BMW V12 LMR was built to challenge the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans and ALMS Series. It debuted at the American Le Man Series 12 Hours of Sebring in March of 1999, taking the race victory. It also took the overall victory at Le Mans the same year, making it the first car to with both classics in the same year since 1987. It will run in Group 5B: 1981-1991 FIA manufacturers Championship, IMSA GTO/GTP with races on Sunday, August 21st.
2001 BMW (E46) M3 GTR V8
The BMW M3 GTR was a dominant competitor throughout the 2001 season that it contested. It won the Petit Le Mans finale and with its stars and stripes livery commemorating 9/11, instantly became a legend. The most unique feature of the M3 GTR was its V8 powerplant – a first for an M3. The “P60” was a 4.0-litre lightweight V8 that featured a dry sump, flat plane crank and efficient exhaust scavenging, it produce 444hp at 7,500rpm. This car was one of the BMW Team PTG M3s that took the Manufacturer, Driver and Team GT class championships in the 2004 Rolex Sports Car Series, winning 10 of 12 races, including six 1-2 podium finishes. It will run in Group 5B: 1981-1991 FIA manufacturers Championship, IMSA GTO/GTP with races on Sunday, August 21.
Keep an eye on the BMW Car website, magazine and social media as we’ll bring you a round-up of the action after it has happened.