2015 BMW M3
Denis Flierl's picture

2 dominant M3 vehicles from BMW racing history get showcased at Sebring

BMW showcased two BMW M3 race cars next to their street car counterparts. Why does motorsports play a big role in M3’s development?
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BMW has a rich race history with the M3 and they brought two examples to Sebring International Raceway this past weekend. BMW did it to commemorate the 40th anniversary of BMW's overall win at the Twelve Hours of Sebring 1975. It started with the 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL racer that was the forerunner for BMWs successful M3 we see today.

BMW also brought the BMW E46 M3 GTR, wearing 2006 ALMS-spec No. 21 livery and aero kit, showing it alongside its street car counterpart, the 2006 BMW M3. They also showcased the No. 6 BMW Team PTG M3 race car posing with its street car counterpart, the 1995 BMW M3 Lightweight.

The first BMW M3 E30 was built so it could run in Group A Touring Car racing and BMW needed 5,000 production models in order to meet the minimum number. BMW only intended to build 5,000 M3s, but they ended up building nearly 18,000. The car was built for the race track and the M3 philosophy was born. The sports car went on to be an icon and is in its fifth generation of greatness.

The M3 philosophy

The original philosophy of the M3 was to provide a good daily driver that owners could also take to the track and drive hard. It was designed by BMW to be a track-capable car. BMW M division developed the engine, brakes, cooling system and suspension to provide a very emotional enjoyable driver. The original 1986 M3 employed race-car technologies and concepts into a daily driving sports car. That’s still the M3/M4 philosophy today we see in the 2015 M3/M4 fifth-generation car.

BMW says M is the most powerful letter in the world and they don’t want you to forget it. It’s the most powerful letter, moreover it’s the most prolific letter on any performance car on the planet...read more.

BMW USA Classic was well-represented at this weekend’s Classic Motorsports Mitty Speedfest, which took place at Road Atlanta in Braselton, GA. BMW racer, Boris Said, was this year’s Grand Marshal for the vintage races featuring over 300 entered cars. Said was an integral part of the BMW Team PTG years, co-driving to many victories including the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring, and the Petit Le Mans. Said is the only American to have won overall at the famous Nurburgring 24 hour race, co-driving a BMW Motorsport M3 GTR in 2005.

Motorsports fans were able to enjoy the sites and sounds of the legendary BMW M3 sports cars that have a close connection to motorsports over two decades of development and learning through competition in the racing environment. Their track-bred driving dynamics is why they have such a popular following with performance enthusiasts.


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