Even though Goodwood took place a while back we just stumbled upon this video shot at the famous British Festival of Speed, featuring a truly rare sighting: a BMW V12 LMR. The only BMW-made car to ever claim the overall victory for the Germans at the Le Mans 24-hour endurance race is indeed a beast you rarely get to see in action and listen to its majestic V12 engine. In case that sounds familiar, there’s a good reason for that.
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Under the proverbial hood of the BMW V12 LMR hides the same powerplant that gave life to the iconic McLaren F1. The S70/3 6-liter V12 in the LMR used to make 580 BHP and 500 lb-ft (678 Nm) of torque with restrictors, as the rules demanded. Furthermore, the weight of the whole thing was 900 kg (1,984 lbs) which means this thing is truly a rocket on wheels. To keep everything in check and on the ground, aerodynamics played a very important part when developing it.
Built in collaboration with the Williams F1 team, the BMW V12 LMR won the 1999 Le Mans race after it had traveled across the ocean to partake in other, similar venues. It managed to win the 12-hour Sebring race first, as a true test run for the European venue that was to follow. After qualifying third and sixth against very strong opposition, the two cars BMW had running in Le Mans were leading the pack for almost the entire race.
In the closing stages car number 17 suffered a massive accident at the Porsche Curves due to a stuck throttle. However, this late in the race, the number 15 car had fortunately taken the lead thanks to a combination of pace and relatively low fuel consumption. In a thrilling finale, it was closely chased by one of the Toyota GT-Ones until a puncture freed the way for BMW’s first Le Mans win. Afterwards, BMW started racing in Formula 1 once again together with Williams and interest in the V12 LMR dropped considerably. Today we get to see the famous car race once again, on the Goodwood hill climb and listen to its amazing S70 powerplant.