BMW 3.0 CSL and BMW M1 line up at the start of the Legends Parade for the “Austrian Grand Prix”.

BMW:BMW 3.0 CSL and BMW M1 line up at the start of the Legends Parade for the “Austrian Grand Prix”.

Munich/Spielberg. When the anticipation of the next
Formula 1 race mingles with the memory of magic motor-sport moments
from the past, this is the starting gun for the Legends Parade. On
Sunday 1 July 2018, the pageant of historic racing cars and celebrity
drivers will once again unfold at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg,
Austria. Just before the race to decide the “Austrian Grand Prix”,
eleven touring-car classics from the 1970s and 1980s will re-live the
glory days of the German Racing Championship (DRM – “Deutsche
Rennsport Meisterschaft”) at the Red Bull Ring. BMW Group Classic is
represented by two exceptional vehicles from its collection at this
year’s Legends Parade. A mid-engine BMW M1 sports car from 40 years
ago will be presented alongside a BMW 3.0 CSL, which gained sporting
fame and fortune as the successful touring car that established the
brand’s big coupé series launched 50 years ago.

The “Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft” was held from 1972 to 1985. It
quickly developed into Europe’s most important and popular touring-car
series. Numerous works teams and private racing stables provided some
spectacular competitions for many years. Although the vehicles
competing in the races were derived from series models, they were
strategically tuned for high performance with comprehensive and
advanced modifications. The race series was also closely associated
with the names of legendary racing drivers such as Rolf Stommelen,
Klaus Ludwig, Harald Ertl, Bob Wollek, Jochen Mass, Manfred
Winkelhock, Markus Höttinger and Hans-Joachim Stuck. For Stuck, the
years of the German Racing Championship were “quite simply a fantastic period”.

In the initial years, touring cars competed in accordance with Group
2 regulations, including the BMW 3.0 CSL, which had been specifically
designed for motor sport. The designation of the two-door coupé was a
reference to “Coupé, Sport, Lightweight”. The coupé was the top model
of BMW’s great coupé series launched in 1968 and it was an
exceptionally successful touring car. A total of six titles were won
in the European Touring Car Championship with the BMW 3.0 CSL, the
first being in the debut year 1973. The European Champion at the time
was the Dutch racing driver Toine Hezemans and this year he will be
part of the Legends Parade in Spielberg, once again behind the
steering wheel of the BMW 3.0 CSL.

From 1977, Group 5 vehicles were also represented in the DRM. Four
years later, this paved the way for the BMW M1 to compete in the
popular national race series. Impressive spoilers and engine outputs
of up to 1000 hp made this touring car one of the most spectacular
phenomena at the German Racing Championship. Prior to this, the
mid-engine sports car presented in 1978 had generated a sensation in
the Procar Series created especially for this car. The Procar races
were held in the warm-up programme before the European Formula 1 races
in the years 1979 and 1980, with Formula 1 racing drivers of that era
competing against national sports-car professionals and junior racing drivers.

The BMW M1 from the collection of BMW Group Classic will join the
ranks of the Legends Parade in Spielberg. Formula 1 driver Christian
Danner will be behind the steering wheel. During the course of his
career, Danner also enjoyed success in touring-car motor racing and
furthermore was one of the drivers who had already become familiar
with the BMW M1 in the Procar Series. The array of erstwhile race cars
from the German Racing championship also includes three additional BMW
motor cars from private ownership, including a BMW 3.6 CSL Alpina.
Three-times Formula 1 Champion Niki Lauda from Austria will line up at
the start behind the wheel of this automobile.

Original Press Release