We all know that 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the BMW brand but this year the Bavarians have plenty of other reasons to celebrate as well. This weekend, at the Zandvoort Historic Grand Prix, the Germans celebrated the 50th anniversary of the legendary 02 Series models. Over the course of three days, fans of the brand from the Netherlands had the chance to witness greatness.

Launched in 1966, the BMW 02 Series was extremely popular with lots of BMW fans, and various versions have achieved an incredible number of motor-sport successes. The Historic Grand Prix Zandvoort was, therefore, the perfect occasion to celebrate “50 years of BMW 2002”. BMW has therefore created the “BMW Centenary Trophy: BMW 2002 meets BMW 3.0 CSL” as an accolade to this heritage.

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This was a race between the BMW 2002 and an equally high-performing contemporary automobile, the successful BMW 3.0 CSL. The starting line-up of the race included twenty-five racing cars, out of which seventeen were 2002 automobiles. BMW has also invited a number of motor-sport legends to this very special race. Prinz Leopold von Bayern and Harald Grohs are iconic BMW drivers who played an active role in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM).

Jan Lammers and Michael Bleekemolen took part in various races including the legendary BMW M1 Procar championships, which featured in the warm-up program for Formula 1 in 1979 and 1980. Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design and project manager responsible for the two BMW hommage cars,  competed in his own BMW 2002 TISA, which he has already driven in the Historic Grand Prix Zandvoort before.

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The races were open by a BMW M6 Gran Coupe Safety Car and also by two surprising pairs. BMW decided to put the original BMW 3.0 CSL alongside the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R ahead of the racers as well as an original BMW 2002 alongside the BMW 2002 Hommage Turbomeister that was just unveiled. This way, the old was definitely combined with the new. You can check out some of the action in the photo gallery below.