RE: BMW M1 Procars to star at Goodwood

RE: BMW M1 Procars to star at Goodwood

Wednesday 28th November

BMW M1 Procars to star at Goodwood

High-speed demonstration at Members' Meeting looks set to have the biggest M1 grid since 1980



For any PHer too young to remember the BMW M1 Procar championship of 1979 and 1980, it was - and arguably remains - the greatest support series for Formula 1 ever conceived. The fact it used a grid of race-prepared BMW M1s was cool enough, but that the drivers involved were all competing in F1 made it all the more exciting.

Fans were given a chance to see the entire F1 grid competing on a level playing field, with each driving a track-prepped M1 running with an identical race-tuned version of BMW's 3.5-litre M88 straight six, which had been ramped up by legendary BMW engineer Paul Rosche to provide 470hp (from 277hp). It meant that drivers who were normally laden with an uncompetitive F1 machine could fight it out with the sport's very best.


The cars looked and sounded phenomenal and, according to the drivers, handled beautifully. Former F1 racer Hans Stuck said: "it was the best thing ever, incredibly competitive and those straight six engines made a wonderful noise". Stuck finished second and third in the Procar's two series, so we can probably take that opinion as gospel.

Of course with the cars aligned, there was nothing to prevent talent from rising to the top, so it's perhaps of little surprise that in the Procar series' two seasons, the title winners were Niki Lauda and Nelson Piquet. Both went on to win three F1 championships each.

Although immensely popular with fans and drivers alike, BMW ended support for the series in 1981 to focus on its own F1 campaign. M1 Procars have not competed together since; in fact, only a handful have shared the same circuit in the 38 years that have followed.


Next year, however, that looks to change following the announcement that a field of them should be out in force at the 77th Goodwood Members. Exact numbers are yet to be confirmed, but the organisers are working to get as many M1 Procar owners on board to take part in a high-speed demonstration run on Goodwood Circuit over the weekend of the 6/7th April 2019.

To make this occasion even more momentous, Goodwood's inviting some of the original drivers from the championship to get involved. Although now in their senior years, racing drivers have a habit of wanting to prove their skills on circuit - particularly at Goodwood. And the prospect of seeing M1s four-wheel drifting around Madgwick Corner next spring has almost trumped driving the new Porsche 992 in our things-to-do-in-2019 list...

Author
Discussion

Lotusgone

Original Poster:

106 posts

63 months

Wednesday 28th November
quotequote all
I went to four GPs in 1979 and 1980, rather than following the herd to Greece. The M1s were fabulous, and I have a vivid memory of Lauda showing his class at Hockenheim in 1979. If you have the chance to see them, then go.

Midgster

338 posts

170 months

Wednesday 28th November
quotequote all
This must have been about a year or 2 before I started watching F1 as I never knew this happened. How amazing would it be to have something like this again on an F1 weekend? All the drivers in identical cars bashing it out. Watching that video was flippin amazing, guess it will never happen as I reckon more people would watch this support race than the F1 Grand Prix itself.

The Brummie

7,612 posts

123 months

Wednesday 28th November
quotequote all
This was a great race series.

Made even better for the drivers by the large brown envelopes full of cash that they, allegedly, got each time they got in an M1.

The road car was awesome as well.

Crazy Don

73 posts

145 months

Wednesday 28th November
quotequote all
I was there at Donnington in 1979, great race, great memories. Wonderful close racing and great sound and fury from the M1 Procars and a bunch of the worlds best drivers giving it everything. Whats not to like.

Plate spinner

12,878 posts

136 months

Wednesday 28th November
quotequote all
Midgster said:
How amazing would it be to have something like this again on an F1 weekend? All the drivers in identical cars bashing it out.
Totally agree!
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kambites

55,407 posts

157 months

Wednesday 28th November
quotequote all
Plate spinner said:
Midgster said:
How amazing would it be to have something like this again on an F1 weekend? All the drivers in identical cars bashing it out.
Totally agree!
Indeed but sadly it's not likely to happen. I think the sport has just become too professional for this sort of thing these days.

sutts

468 posts

84 months

Wednesday 28th November
quotequote all
Fantastic cars and race series.

I’d be interested to hear more about how they gained nearly 200 bhp from the naturally aspirated M88 engine without enlarging the capacity a great deal. Seems like a massive gain?!

As an aside I heard John Watson’s name on the video. I have his signature in a childhood autograph book somewhere!


Plate spinner

12,878 posts

136 months

Wednesday 28th November
quotequote all
kambites said:
Plate spinner said:
Midgster said:
How amazing would it be to have something like this again on an F1 weekend? All the drivers in identical cars bashing it out.
Totally agree!
Indeed but sadly it's not likely to happen. I think the sport has just become too professional for this sort of thing these days.
Agreed. Such a shame.

Would be great to see the current F1 Elite in identical cars... would probably throw up interesting results that some teams / drivers wouldn't want the world to see!

Mykdon70

5 posts

5 months

Wednesday 28th November
quotequote all
This is exactly what we need on race weekend now. BMW i8's with the electric motors and batteries stripped out, and tuned S55 or B58 straight sixes. With a carbon monocoque it's aching to be stripped out and turned into a racer. Wouldn't it have been great to see Hamilton, Alonso, Verstappen, Ricciardo etc all racing in identical machines?

thegreenhell

4,869 posts

155 months

Wednesday 28th November
quotequote all
The only thing to come close to this since then was the Jaguar Intercontinental Challenge, with a field of identical XJR15s racing as a support series to F1 at Monaco, Silverstone and Spa, mostly piloted by old F1 and Le Mans drivers.


aston addict

188 posts

94 months

Wednesday 28th November
quotequote all
BMW should take note. How can a company that produced such awesome looking machines as the M1 & the procar version could, then churn out an ugly mess like the latest 2018 8 series?

Housey

1,995 posts

163 months

Wednesday 28th November
quotequote all
I was at that Donington race.

God I'm old frown

Dapster

2,818 posts

116 months

Wednesday 28th November
quotequote all
Love the M1! Spectacular when racing.











roy928tt

13 posts

74 months

Thursday 29th November
quotequote all
Well there is at least some of the reason for the HP increase, lots of fuel. But yes I remember being gobsmacked when reading the output figure for the M1 procars in the old BMW museum.I seem to remember the RPM figure was commensurately high ?9200?

I seem to recall there were contractual issue with some drivers, and a rule was brought in not long after, banning F1 drivers from competing in other events on GP weekends ( I seem to remember ?Gerhard Berger?getting dispensation to race in Gp A at the '85 Adelaide GP?)

Fabulous stuff, I believe it got expensive for BMW, the drivers were not paying for the damage to the cars.....

generationx

2,022 posts

41 months

Thursday 29th November
quotequote all
These things regularly appear at the Oldtimer Grand Prix at the 'Ring - absolutely fantastic.

As mentioned above the closest I got was the XJR-15 series at Silverstone. That was pretty epic too.