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The BMW M1 Procar Championship was a one-make-racing series around BMW’s M1, the fastest sports car in German production at the time. Professional racing drivers like Niki Lauda, Alan Jones and Jacques Laffite were drafted in to race identically modified BMW M1 sports cars . Over the last decade original Procar M1s have gone up in value and because of that anyone who owns one is not likely to go racing with it. The answer is to take a road-going M1 and convert it into a track tool which is even faster ánd more rare than the original M1 Procar.

Back in 1979 the M1 Procars, designed to meet Group 4 technical regulations, shared only some basics with the M1 road cars. The Procar M1's weight was brought down to 1.020 kilograms. It reached top speeds of well over 300 kilometers per hour thanks to BMW’s fettled straight-6-engine producing 470 horsepower at 9000 revolutions per minute, compared to 277 hp from the standard M1's engine. The 5-speed gearbox housing from the road car was retained, but updated with multiple gear ratios, as well as its own oil cooler. A spoiler was added under the nose of the car, while an adjustable wing was added at the back. The wheel arches were extended to house fatter tires.


In 2015 Bettels Performance from Northeim in Germany set about converting an M1 roadcar into a racing car. In close cooperation with ‘BMW Klassik’ and former BMW works driver Peter Oberndorfer an original spare Procar engine was mounted into a strengtened roadcar chassis, dressed in a beautiful Andretti livery, the former Formula 1 and Indy Car racing legend. Using state-of-the-art suspension and the latest engine electronics it resulted in a beautiful one-of-a-kind replica boasting over 520 horsepower, some fifty more than the original M1 Procar.

The BMW M1 Procar Championship served as support races for various European rounds of the 1979 Formula One season, with Formula One drivers earning automatic entry into the Procar event based on their performance in their Formula One cars. Austrian Niki Lauda won the inaugural championship. In 1980, the series was won by Brazilian Nelson Piquet with Dutchman Jan Lammers winning the first race of the season in the United Kingdom.

This 1980 BMW M1 Procar replica is owned and raced by Hans-Jürgen Erdbrügger in the Tourenwagen Legenden and Youngtimer Touring Car Challenge during the TABAC Classic GP Assen.

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  • BMW M11.jpg

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