If you haven’t already heard, the Goodwood Festival of Speed is currently underway and BMW has had a strong presence there throughout the week. Of course, there were some incredible BMW road cars on display in Goodwood, specifically the M4 CSL which actually climbed the iconic hill with our own Horatiu riding shotgun. However, potentially even more exciting were the iconic race cars on hand.
There were a few really cool Touring cars on display, such as E30 M3s and E21 3 Series’ but there were also some genuine jaw-droppers. A couple of BMW 3.0 CSLs were there, showing off their iconic Batmobile looks, as well as some BMW F1 cars. But there were also some bigger guns, the sorts of classic BMWs that fans seldom get to see.
One such car was the BMW M1, which is easily one of the most iconic BMWs of all time. It’s also the car that kicked off the M Division, as the first ever proper M car. It may have been doomed before it was even developed but the M1 holds a very special place in the hearts of enthusiasts. Another incredible car was the BMW V12 LMR, easily one of the best race cars the brand ever developed. I had the chance to see and hear the LMR in person in Monterey and it’s as epic as you might imagine.
The Formula 2 March-BMW 782 was also on site. The car was designed, developed and built by British manufacturer March Engineering in 1978. The open-wheel racing car won 11 out of 12 races in 1978 giving Bruno Giacomelli the championship. Marc Surer finished second-place in the championship as runner-up. The F2 car makes around 300 horsepower from a 2.0 liter inline-four BMW engine while weighing only 500 kilograms.
BMW E21 Group 5
The BMW AC Schnitzer 320i Turbo Group 5 raced in 1977-1978-1979-1980 in DRM ( Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft – National Touring Car Series). It finished first overall in championship in 1979, entered by the Rodenstock – Wurth BMW Team and Ddiven by Manfred Winkelhock.
The new GT racer replaced the aging BMW 3.0 CSL and used the BMW M12 four-cylinder that had been successfully used by sports cars and F2 racers for several seasons. The 320i Turbo made 310 horsepower from the 2.0 liter engine and weighed 740 kilograms. This particular model was using an AC Schnitzer developed turbocharged engine.
BMW ALPINA 3.0 CSL Jägermeister
The Jägermeister 3.0 CSL was another exciting presence at the BMW paddock in Goodwood. The ALPINA-developed 3.0 CSL raced in the European Touring Car Championship and the German Motorsports Championship. In the 1973 season, the ALPINA 3.0 CSL had a 3.3 liter six-cylinder engine delivering around 360 hp. A new engine iteration arrived later with a capacity of 3.6 liters and delivering 372 hp. Niki Lauda drove the ALPINA BMW CSL in the 1973 season. He won the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring.
E30 M3 Schnitzer
The 1990 Schnitzer E30 M3 who won the SPA 24 hours was also present. In Group A events, the E30 M3 was pitted against the likes of the Mercedes-Benz W201 190E. The M3’s 2.3-liter engine made around 300 horsepower. In 1990, the power was increased to around 380 horsepower when BMW introduced the 2.5-liter S14 engine. It had a top speed of 175 mph and a 0 to 60 mph time in 4.3 seconds.
The F1-winner Brabham BMW BT52 graced us with its presence at the Festival of Speed. In 1983, Nelson Piquet became the first driver in the history of Formula One to win the world championship title in a racing car powered by a turbo engine: the Brabham BMW BT52. The engine that imbued the Brabham BMW BT52 with its legendary status was developed by BMW Motorsport GmbH under the guidance of its then Technical Director, Paul Rosche. His team furnished the British Brabham racing team with a 1.5-litre four-cylinder unit featuring 16 valves, a turbocharger and – in a first for Formula One – Digital Motor Electronics.
The BMW turbo engine was first deployed in a Formula One race at the start of the 1982 season; 630 days later Nelson Piquet drove the Brabham BMW BT52 to world championship victory.
BMW M1 No.52 Wurth
BMW and Swiss Team Sauber built Group 5 M1 racing cars. The chassis and suspension was designed by Dallara of Lamborghini and the body by Giorgetto Giugiaro. The Würth-sponsored car was run by Sauber at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Marc Surer and Dieter Quester behind the wheel.
The cars were 150kg lighter the BMW M1 Procar, but unfortunately the Le Mans stint was not successful. Regardless, the BMW M1 went down in history not only as the single BMW supercar to date, but also as one of the most beautiful racing cars ever made.
McLaren F1 LongTail
However, the coolest BMW-powered car on hand in Goodwood wasn’t actually a BMW at all. It was a McLaren F1. Actually, there were a couple of them, all of which were Longtail models, and they were all breathtaking. The McLaren F1, even in racing spec, is powered by a BMW V12 engine that might be the greatest engine ever made, until Gordon Murray’s upcoming T.50 hits the road.
We were very lucky to go to Goodwood, to see some of these incredible cars. The next best thing, though, is seeing them in this new photo gallery, so check it out.