Anyone misfortunate enough to stumble into my office will find scenes of confusion. Books and magazines sit cheek by jowl, references in the process of being checked, another pile of slides awaiting scanning, jobs waiting to be despatched. There are several boxes of photo material, film, prints and slides marked "random". Actually that are labelled something else but the auto editor won't allow me to type that word.
As you are aware it is BMW month, so I thought it would be mildly amusing to pull together 15 images from the wasteland of my working space, that have a BMW theme…….
First is a shot of the Harrods McLaren lurching into the Dunlop Curves during the wet Saturday evening of the 1995 race with Derek Bell at the wheel. Back then trying "arty" stuff like this was frowned upon, largely because it rarely came off and each frame was part of a valuable and expensive roll of film. By this stage I was wet, tired, cold and generally miserable, it was winter in Le Mans, despite the calendar saying June. So art it was in the vain hope of pulling something, well I got lucky, which is more than can be said for DPR and this car, third was poor reward for the performance that they put in.
1983, Becketts, Silverstone, 635, Stuck, YEE HAW!
Brno in the Czech Republic, in 2004 with Andy Priaulx on his way to the European Touring Car Championship. The following year the Championship was given FIA World status, Andy then took three titles in a row. Amazing. More on that later in the month.
BMW M1 of Jens Winther back in 1982 at Brands Hatch. Despite the appearance of sunshine, it was a very wet race at times, so much so that the race was stopped at one point. 92 laps completed in the M1 when the Dane slid off the road and into retirement.
Winther once again, this time at Le Mans. The year 1986 in the URD C82 BMW, with a much better outcome. Together with David Mercer and Lars-Viggo Jensen it was second in C2 class and eleventh overall. The URD should get royalties from the GrandAm Daytona Prototypes, not sure they have improved the looks though.
Sebring 1999 saw the birth of the American Le Mans Series and this great paint job on a BMW powered Lola………..it did not make the start however and soon disappeared off the scene.
Much more successful is the B6 Alpina that races in GT3 category this year. It is a welcome return to the tracks for Alpina and the car has been really quick.
Once again back to Brands Hatch in 1982 where Hans Stuck performed miracles in monsoon conditions with the Sauber C6. Powered by a 4 cylinder turbo BMW engine he led the factory Porsches and Lancias till the sun came out and spoiled his fun.
One that BMW would like to forget. The V8 powered Riley & Scott campaign in Europe and the USA was a disaster till the last race when Didier de Radigues and Bill Auberlen scored a win at Laguna Seca to bring the project to a belated successful conclusion.
Much happier times with the E46 M3 GTR that scored many wins on both sides of the Atlantic. This the PTG example in 2001 riding over one of the temporary chicanes installed at Texas Motor Speedway.
Things were a bit different back then. It's 1983 and a Formula One test at Silverstone, lunch break by the looks of it. I can't imagine Kimi or Lew-is scoffing a ham sandwich in the pit lane while being pestered by billys such as I. But here you have the two Brabham BMW works drivers, Nelson Piquet and Riccardo Patrese enjoying an alfresco feast with me getting the run of the pit lane……………
Once again Silverstone, but a year earlier, during the Six Hours sportscar race. The Group 5 BMW M1 of Steve O'Rourke, Nick Mason and Jeff Allam on the way to retirement.
Wind the clock back another year to 1981 and who else but Hans Stuck doing the business. 17th on the grid gives a good idea of the relative performance of his pretty standard ProCar BMW M1 against the Group 5 & 6 racers but in more terrible conditions he had the M1 up to second overall by the first hour. Standing out in the rain was made worth it by the lurid angles that Stuckie pulled off………….
Bang up to date and the great hope for BMW in the 2009 WTCC, Augusto Farfus, winning a round at Brands Hatch.
The end of the line……….Thomas Bscher's McLaren F1 GTR takes the final international victory for the amazing BMW powered machines. It was at the Monza 1000 Kilometres in 1998.
More during the week.