In 1979 and 1980, the iconic BMW M1 supercar starred in the one-make Procar racing championship and in July, a fleet of M1 racers will return to the track at the Nuremberg city circuit during a round of the German Touring Car Championship (DTM).
In the late 1970s, BMW intended on entering the M1 into FIA Group 4 racing and planned to do so with the help of Lamborghini. However, money issues at the Italian car manufacturer prevented it from being able to produce the cars which BMW wanted. This forced BMW to look for other suppliers to build its homologated M1 road cars but a series of delays meant the marque was unable to meet the deadline for Group 4 homologation.
Not willing to let all of its hard work go to waste, BMW got the FIA to sanction a one-make championship for the M1 dubbed Procar. A total of 19 Procar races were held in 1979 and 1980 with famous drivers including Niki Lauda, Alan Jones, Nelson Piquet, and Emerson Fittipaldi competing.
BMW eventually made it to Group 4 in 1979 but the M1 didn’t have much success and the project was given the boot in 1980.
In 2008, a special Procar Revival event was held at the Hockenheimring in Germany and two years ago, another Procar Revival took place at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria.
For July’s Procar Revival, no less than 14 M1s will make a comeback on the track with the likes of former Formula 1 drivers Jan Lammers from the Netherlands and Marc Surer from Switzerland competing.