Every year, the Monterey Motorsports Reunion (MMR) honors an automaker, prompting droves of owners, collectors, and enthusiasts of the chosen marquee to descend on Laguna Seca. This year, MMR proudly celebrates BMW’s 100th anniversary, causing a “record number” of historical BMW entries, seven of which are fielded by BMW itself.
Unsurprisingly, BMW is bringing along a trailer full of motorsports goodies from past decades, ranging from a nimble and elegant 1970 BMW Alpina 2002ti, to the mighty 1999 BMW V12 LMR. Each car represents a different stage of BMW’s competition history, and spans three decades, from 1970 to 2001. Here are the seven cars BMW will race at MMR:
1970 BMW Alpina 2002ti
This little Bimmer was race-prepped by legendary BMW tuner Alpina. Under Alpina’s hand, the 2002ti received large Weber side-draft carburetors, numerous engine modifications, flared fenders, and signature three-piece Alpina wheels.
Sold to known California Porsche importer and seller Vasek Polak after just two seasons of competition, the car remained in storage for 24 years. BMW repurchased the car in 1996, and restored it to its former glory.
1975 BMW 3.0 CSL IMSA Group 4 No. 25
No other race car in BMW’s history better embodies the automaker’s motorsport spirit than the iconic 3.0 CSLs from the mid-1970s. In the hands of drivers like Brian Redmon and Hans-Joachim Stuck, the CSL was a voracious competitor, winning races around the world, including the vaunted 24 Hours of Daytona.
1981 BMW M1 IMSA Group 4 No. 2
The M1 Procar challenge series was BMW’s attempt to homologate the M1 race car onto the international racing stage, serving as an outlet for wealthy privateers to bash fenders in a factory-backed series. The Procar challenge wasn’t very successful, but the race-spec M1s were nothing short of fantastic.
1996 McLaren F1 GTR
It might not wear a BMW badge on the front snout, but the indomitable McLaren F1 is easily the coolest car hitting the Monterey tarmac later this month. BMW produced the naturally-aspirated V-12 engines for the F1, ushering it to a stellar overall win at the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans, and cementing BMW’s S70/2 V-12 as one of the greatest supercar engines ever fitted to a chassis.
1998 BMW (E36) M3 GT-2
Aside from a similar grille and side profile, it’s difficult to make the link between this M3 GT-2 and the roadgoing E36 M3. The GT-2 was BMW’s entry into the PSCR SportsCar championship, and was an extremely successful car during its heyday.
The M3 GT-2 claimed first place finishes at both the 1998 12 Hours of Sebring and the 1997 24 Hours of Daytona.
1999 BMW V12 LMR
This low-slung, knife-edged roadster was BMW’s first and only overall win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, grabbing the trophy in 1999.
Move under the sculpted bodywork, and the reason behind the LMR’s success becomes apparent. The LMR used a modified version of the F1’s S70/2 V-12 pushing out around 580 hp.
2001 BMW (E46) M3 GTR V8
Built to raise the competitiveness of the six-cylinder E46 M3 on the race circuit, the M3 GTR was a powerhouse in its day. The V-8 engine under the bulging front hood pushed out an impressive 493 hp, allowing the GTR to outpace the Porsche 996 911 GT3.