In the words of former DTM and BTCC driver, Steve Soper, “ If you want to drive a Formula One car, you want to drive for Ferrari. If you want to drive a touring car, you want to drive for BMW.”
This is just one of the many sayings that feature from a great selection of drivers that are part of the racing dynasty, which the Munich manufacturer has established since the 1960s.
It is just a part of the recently released film by StereoScreen pair Tim and Nick Hahne, who look back at the highs and successes in many different aspects of BMW’s racing antics over the past few decades.
The story begins in May of 1966, when then European Touring Car Champion Hubert Hahne took a standard BMW New Class 2000ti around the Nordschleife in 9 minutes 58.5 seconds. This was the first time anyone had gone around the then-22.8km track in less that ten minutes in a touring car. Even back then, if your car was not standard specification, the driver would be disqualified.
It was the beginning of things to come, especially as drivers like Dieter Quester and Hans-Joachim Stuck were in the outfit that was run by former Ford Motorsport boss, Jochen Neerpasch, who along with legendary engineer, Paul Rosche, decided to take a risk to go for glory out on track.
This was due to former Ford boss at the time, Bob Lutz, making the switch to Munich and recruiting Neerpasch, who was a visionary in his approach to running a motorsport faction for a major manufacturer, which paid off. This was in terms of marketing and driver fitness, so it was more than just about the car.
The 3.0CSL was the first car to dominate touring car racing in the mid to late 1970s, winning the European Touring Car Championship from 1975 to 1979. The likes of Quester and Stuck even headed over to the United States to race in the IMSA series, due to the oil crisis in the early 1970s.
Cars such as the 3-series, which has been used in different variations, such as the E30 M3 in the DTM and the 320i TC in the WTCC, as well as the M3 GT3 in sportscars, show just how much it meant to drivers like 3-time WTCC champion Andy Priaulx & 1989 DTM Champion and ROAL Motorsport team owner Roberto Ravaglia, to be part of something special.
The accounts and varied opinions on stories told by others such as current Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt, 2012 DTM Champion Bruno Spengler, Alex Zanardi, Johnny Cecotto, Harald Grohs and Joey Hand, just showed how much care the Hanhe brothers took in depicting this legacy, which still continues as strong as ever today.
Over the course of a year, the brothers conducted thirty interviews, as well as finding previously unreleased material from behind the scenes, as well as a captivating intro scene that was filmed at the BMW Museum. This film is following up on the work ethic that they are known for when they followed BMW Motorsport at the 2011 24 Hours of Nürburgring for the production “ONE TEAM. ONE TARGET.”
Other stories include BMW Motorsport’s success overseas in the IMSA series, the DTM love affair, the short-lived M1 Procar Series that saw touring car aces go against the top drivers in Formula One, as well as the famed 24 Hours of Nürburgring’s relationship with BMW. The Art Cars also showed that BMW were also pioneers in captivating the public’s attention, especially with an M1 being painted by the famed artist Andy Warhol in just 25 minutes.
With the help of many individuals, including BMW themselves, the efforts of the team at StereoScreen is something to admire, as their passion for telling a wonderful and intense story comes through in this film. In any way, it makes it a must-see for any touring car fan that is interested in historical content that stems right up to the present day, especially if your preference is for the “Ultimate Driving Machine.”
This film is now available on DVD, Blu-Ray and Vimeo on Demand.