BMW Enters Three Fan Favorite Race Cars at the 2014 Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion
1975 Sebring-Winning 3.0 CSL, BMW M1 IMSA Group 4 and BMW ALPINA 2002ti to race.
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – August 6, 2014 …Today BMW announced that it will run three BMW USA Classic race cars in the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on August 14-17. The entries include the famous No. 25 BMW 3.0 CSL, the BMW ALPINA 2002ti, and the BMW M1 IMSA Group 4. Fans and media are encouraged to follow along on Twitter @BMWUSAClassic.
The No. 25 BMW 3.0 CSL Group 4 won the 1975 12 Hours of Sebring and was honored in March of this year with a Class win at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. This 3.0 CSL is one of five BMW Motorsport chassis built and campaigned in North America in the 1975 & 1976 IMSA Camel GT Series in Group 4 and 5 specifications. Campaigned under the racing numbers 24 and 25, the CSL enjoyed considerable success, winning at Sebring, Riverside, Laguna Seca, Daytona and Talladega in 1975. At the Rolex Reunion, the BMW 3.0 CSL No. 25 will be driven by BMW of North America President and CEO, Ludwig Willisch. Willisch will run in Group 5A:1973-1981 FIA, IMSA with races on Saturday, August 16th at 10:25am and 3:30pm.
The second entry is the newly-restored 1970 BMW ALPINA 2002ti. This racing 2002ti was built by German BMW constructor and race team ALPINA GmbH in 1970. In late 1970, the car was sold to Vasek Polak BMW of Hermosa Beach, California. The car was campaigned in the 1971 and 1972 seasons and then retired. It spent the next 24 years in storage before being purchased by BMW of North America. The car has now been restored to original 1970 BMW ALPINA Team Orange with Semi-Gloss Black hood and rear deck livery with the help of ALPINA. The car will be raced by Road & Track Executive Editor and vintage racer, Sam Smith. Smith will run in Group 2B:1963-1972 FIA Manufacturers Championship with races on Sunday, August 17th at 8:40am and 1:30pm.
The final BMW entry in the annual event is the No. 2 BMW M1 IMSA Group 4 that was campaigned by BMW of North America at the 24 Hours of Daytona and Mosport during the 1981 season and driven by the likes of David Hobbs, Mark Surer, and Dieter Quester.
As racing regulations evolved in the mid-Seventies, BMW Motorsport saw an opportunity to challenge arch-rival Porsche in a new racing series by designing andmanufacturing a purpose-built race car and offering a street version for sale to the public, as stipulated by the rules. 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. However, development and production delays with outside contractors caused its appearance to coincide with the demise of the racing formula for which it was created. The quick thinking solution was the fast and furious ProCar Series which preceded European Formula 1 races.
A few of the M1 ProCars were imported to the US, modified for endurance racing and successfully raced in the popular IMSA GTO Series. BMW of North America only entered its M1 IMSA Group 4 in the longer races of the 1981 season as company’s racing program shifted focus to the new M1/C prototype for the shorter races. 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. The No. 2 M1 IMSA Group 4 will be driven by Motor Trend Magazine’s resident pro driver Randy Pobst. Pobst will also run in Group 5A with Willisch with races on Saturday, August 16th at 10:25am and 3:30pm.
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