Exactly 30 years after the last Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix race, motor racing excitement in the style of yesteryear will once pervade Circuit Park Zandvoort from August 28th to 30th 2015. On this weekend, the tradition-steeped race track set amid a dune landscape right on the Dutch North Sea coast is the venue for the 2015 Zandvoort Historic Grand Prix.
For the first time, BMW Group Classic will be taking part in this atmospheric meeting of legends from various eras of motor racing history. Ten racing cars and three racing motorcycles from the BMW Group Classic pool will rekindle memories of fascinating contests and spectacular victories in numerous different classes and championship series.
With its strong sense of tradition and sound expertise, BMW Group Classic Historic Motorsport is dedicated to maintaining, restoring and presenting those automobiles and motorcycles which once caused a sensation on race tracks all over the world. The results of this work can now be seen for the first time at the Zandvoort Historic Grand Prix.
At the fourth edition of the event, which attracted more than 50,000 visitors last year, the program includes races as part of the FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars Championship as well as demonstration runs that give numerous racing rarities the opportunity to exhibit their potential, which remains thrilling to this day.
The BMW Group Classic line-up for the 2015 Historic Grand Prix provides a cross-section from six decades of motor racing history. At the hilly, 4.26-kilometre dune circuit of Zandvoort, fans will have the opportunity to see a BMW M1 from the 1979 Procar series (main pix) and a BMW 635 CSi which won the European Touring Car Championship in 1983, as well as the BMW M3 2.5 DTM that was entered in the German Touring Car series in 1992.
Offering a reminder of great achievements in the 24-Hour Race of Le Mans, there is the BMW V12 LMR, overall winner of this long-distance classic in 1999, and also the BMW M3 GT2, which was fastest in the GT Pro class in 2011.
In addition there will be a chance to admire the Chevron BMW B21, which saw its debut in the 1972 Formula 2 championship and has now been back on demonstration runs for two years after comprehensive restoration, and also the March 782, likewise powered by a BMW engine, which won the 1978 European Championship in the same racing series.
The history of BMW Motorrad is also closely bound up with success on the race track. The first machine for solo and sidecar racing to go on the market in the post-war period was the BMW RS 54 presented in 1954, which will be doing its laps in Zandvoort along with a BMW R 50 Kaczor dating back to the 1960s.
The supplement in the model designation of this latter racing motorcycle derives from the name of racing motorcyclist, designer and later BMW engineer Ferdinand Kaczor. He helped significantly improve the performance of the 500 cc BMW upright-shaft boxer engine, as well as developing an extremely light double-cradle frame. Riding a BMW motorcycle designed by himself, Ferdinand Kaczor set a new lap record on the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 1969.
One of the most recent chapters in BMW Motorrad racing history was written by the BMW S 1000 RR. At the beginning of June 2014, Michael Dunlop from Northern Ireland rode it to victory in the Senior Tourist Trophy on the Isle of Man – 75 years after Georg Meier became the first non-Briton to win this spectacular road race on the island in the Irish Sea, riding a BMW compressor machine.
Precious and steeped in history, the automobiles and motorcycles being entered by BMW Group Classic in the 2015 Zandvoort Historic Grand Prix will be steered by acclaimed veterans of motor racing. The experienced team includes former Formula 1 driver Marc Surer from Switzerland, for example, who won the Formula 2 European Championship in 1979 in a March with a BMW engine. Surer worked for BMW as a trainer and racing manager in the DTM.
Extensive touring car expertise is also contributed by Harald Grohs, who won the first DTM victory for BMW in 1984, Briton Steve Soper, Christian Menzel and Leopold Prince of Bavaria. The BMW Group Classic driver line-up is rounded off with the two Dutchmen Jan Lammers and Michael Bleekemolen, who were both active not just in Formula 1 but also for many years in sports car and touring car racing.
BMW Group Classic will also have an exhibition area at Circuit Park Zandvoort open to all fans of historical motor racing. In addition to the automobiles and motorcycles taking part in demonstration runs, other racing vehicles will be on show for close-up inspection here such as the Brabham BMW BT52 in which the Brazilian Nelson Piquet won the Formula 1 World Championship in 1983.
There will also be a presentation of the services offered by the BMW Group Classic Services, which is the number one address for maintenance and repair of both old and recent classics. Original parts are available both for classic serial production vehicles and for historical motor racing, thereby allowing owners to preserve the authentic character of their collector’s piece.
The range currently comprises over 50 000 original parts, with some 500 items added every year.