The new DTM season will be spicing things up with a really rare event: a Procar Series race. BMW announced today that it will be bringing out no less than 14 BMW M1 Procar cars on the 5-7 July weekend to stage a recreation of the races Motorsport fans enjoyed back in the 1970s, on the Norisring circuit. Some 40 years after its debut on the track, the BMW M1 makes a comeback thanks to the BMW Group Classic division.
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Back when the M1 was launched, BMW wanted it to race in the World Sportscar Championship which required the car to abide to Group 5 regulations. However, in order to be allowed to race in the WSC, BMW also had to build 400 BMW M1 model to Group 4 spec. Long story short, BMW decided to start its own championship, made up exclusively by BMW M1 cars with similar modifications. All the drivers would get behind the wheel of the same car.
That led to some rather outrageous races especially when you take into account the fact that the drivers came from all areas of motorsport, from Formula 1 to European Touring competitions and so on. The rivalry between drivers from different branches was incredible. Seeing the cars being driven on the track once again is an incredible event especially when you take into account that some of the drivers that were driving the Procar M1 models will be behind the wheel.
Former Formula 1 drivers Jan Lammers from the Netherlands and Marc Surer from Switzerland are two motor-sport legends who will be lining up at the start. The five fastest drivers out of the Formula 1 pilots at the Friday training session qualified in each case to race in the BMW M1. Celebrity drivers like Niki Lauda, Nelson Piquet, Alan Jones, Jacques Laffite and Emerson Fittipaldi loved driving round the thrilling curves with the fast and agile mid-engine racer.
The BMW M1 generated 470 hp and the driver’s skill was the sole factor in determining who was victorious at the end of the race – this was instrumental in generating maximum excitement at every venue and it helped to make the Procar Series extremely popular. The overall winner of the first Procar season was Niki Lauda. In the following year, Nelson Piquet took first place in the overall standings with three wins in succession.