It’s become the season of the anniversary pace car. In addition to the 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe being the pace car for the Rolex 24, Chevrolet is commemorating its 100th anniversary and that of the Indianapolis 500 by having the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro as the pace car for that famous Memorial Weekend race.
The Rolex 24 is the first opportunity since the 2011 Detroit Auto Show that fans will be able to see the 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe in the flesh. The BMW 1 Series M Coupe pace car will carry an on-board SPEED television camera to give viewers a unique eye on the twice-around-the-clock action. With a 335 horsepower inline-6 engine, a 6-speed manual transmission, and the suspension and brakes from the M3 Competition Package, no modifications to the 1 Series M Coupe will be needed for pace car duty.
By the way, some websites have reported that a 2012 BMW 1 Series M Coupe will be the pace car. No such beasts exists yet, which means it is a 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe that gets the pace car duties for the 49th Rolex at Daytona, which was formerly the 24 Hours of Daytona, Jan. 28-30. It’s a great race that uses the oval and infield course at Daytona International Speedway.
Large portions of it will be broadcast live on SPEED TV. The 49th Rolex 24 At Daytona begins at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, January 29. SPEED television will broadcast 14 hours of the race live from 3:00 p.m. to 10: p.m. ET and 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET Sunday, January 30. A special preview of the race will air at 8:00 p.m. ET Sunday, January 23.
“There’s no better way to greet your most enthusiastic fans than from the front of the Rolex 24 field,” said Dan Creed, Vice President of Marketing for BMW of North America in a statement. “BMW M is synonymous with motorsport. With six BMW-powered entries in this year’s field and on the 35th anniversary of our overall win, it’s perfect that the new 1 Series M Coupe was chosen as pace car. This will be the first time most fans are able to see our newest M car in action.”