BMW Racing

About these photographs...

In 1978, Jimmy Carter was President, the BMW 2002 was already two years out of production. I on the other hand, was sent packing to a land thousands of miles from my native Missouri to a place I had only read about - Germany - for a two year tour of duty with the US Air Force. Amongst other things I was tasked with, met several other gents who shared a common interest in cars and photography. In '79, over beers one night (a frequent departure from work) and with tools at hand created some fake press passes with intent to try and gain access to the local German car races. 

The next weekend, we went driving on the Autobahn down to Hockenheim, where something called "Group 5" racing was being held. We hung all the cameras we could possibly put on our shoulders and went straight for the press entrance to the track. The locals at the track, being as hospitable as they could be, took one look at us with all the camera gear and `official` credentials we had with us and kindly assigned us to the Press Area, home to free alcoholic beverages, hot stats printed out on each race, and fortunately -- free toilet privileges -- considered a cost savings to us of around $8 per day! 

What I didn't realize at the time was that I was actually part of history in the making.

You see, in 1979, BMW introduced the world to the M1, (we knew about it but doubted we could ever afford one) Porsche won the German Championship in Group 5 and Le Mans (went to that too!) and many things about some of the cars I would come to know and love today were being driven around on streets as common as a passing Honda Civic is seen today.

If I had only had the foresight to take more photographs of the engine compartments than the exteriors of the cars, I might have something to work towards today! Oh, well - I could barely afford the film I so rapidly exposed with a Nikon F2 and motor drive.  

What's here is the best of the lot that are BMWs. I have more, and will add more as I have time....   Keith

(Me, age 20 at the Sachs curve, Hockenheimring)
WALLPAPER! Click the 1024x768 or 800x600 versions as wallpaper 
(applies to Windows users only - Mac users are free to try - they're JPEGs)

One of the original Team Krebs Group 5 BMW  M1's. 1979 was the first year for these
cars as they were introduced on the track for the first time at Le Mans.

Team KREBS, in a  Group 5 race in 1979 at Hockenheim, Warsteiner 320i.

The 3 best known BMW tuners of their day: Team Krebs, AC Schnitzer and GS Tuning.
GS is now defunct; Krebs and AC Schniter are still alive and well today.

The next black and white series are action from the 1979 season in Group 5
racing. Again, these are at Hockenheim and Nurburgring.
I don't have much detail on these - you old-timers may know!
If you do - drop me an E-mail and let me know. 

(All photos (C)2001




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