37 years after its premiere on the race track, the BMW M1 Procar was present at the warm-up session for the Formula 1 World Championship race in Austria.

When the first Procar Race was held at Zolder, Belgium, in May 1979, contemporary Formula 1 racing drivers competed in identical racing versions of the BMW M1 against national sports-car professionals, private drivers and talented upcoming drivers. Some of these drivers have now taken the opportunity to get back into the cockpit of the BMW M1 at the Legends Parade in Spielberg – including the three-time Formula 1 World Champion Niki Lauda, who won three Procar Races in 1979 and also succeeded in claiming the overall placing.

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The BMW M1 Procar was the first racing car designed from scratch by BMW Motorsport GmbH to compete in racing. The series version generating 204 kW/277 hp was propelled to a top speed of almost 265 km/h and delivered the fastest road-going German sports car of its time. The Procar Series not only provided the perfect stage for the first super sports car from BMW, but at the same time created an entirely new form of competition on the race track.

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The trial of strength in the racing versions of the BMW M1 constructed in conformity with the Group 4 regulations and each generating 345 kW/470 hp turned into a big success with spectators.

In the photo gallery below you’ll have the chance to see the following racing legends:

  • Niki Lauda #5
  • Jos Verstappen #6
  • Gerhard Berger #70
  • Christian Danner #42
  • Dieter Quester #50
  • Harald Grohs #201
  • Hans-Joachim Stuck #77
  • Johnny Cecotto #76
  • Sepp Manhalter #45
  • Markus Hotz #71
  • Prinz Leopold von Bayern #28
  • Marc Surer #90
  • Jochen Mass #55
  • Jan Lammers #99

[Photos by Quirin Schoen  www.qr-photography.com]