ALMS Washington standings

Mike Veglia msvphoto at
Mon Jul 22 17:19:59 EDT 2002

In a message dated 7/22/2002 Matt writes:

<< The ALMS V8 BMWs were going to be produced in enough numbers to be
homologated, but they wanted to race them before they were official.
Porsche put pressure on the LeMans rulemakers so BMW couldn't get
away with it.  Of course Porsche has raced cars in LeMans before they
were official using the same rationale, but the BMWs were such a threat
that Porsche had to resort to politicking...  Kind of like what happened to
Audi in DTM. >>

Not quite, but close. First off, the V8 engines as found in the M3GTR bared
no resemblance to any BMW engines in production cars *and* there was no
production M3 V8 at the time they announced plans to run the cars. A time
limit to go into production was well known in advance by BMW and rather than
start constructing said cars to become homologated they opted not to do so
because the M3 in question would have been in excess of $250k. There's
always "politicking" in motorsport--fact of life. BMW may have told the ACO
the cars "were going to be produced in enough numbers to be homologated" up
front, but when the time was up no cars (except one prototype which was
essentially a spare race car with some street stuff tossed back on) were
forthcoming. The key is, you can go out and buy a new Porsche or Ferrari as
raced in the GT class. You could not do so in the case of the fire belching
M3GTR which really crossed the line and should have been a GTS category car
IMO. Bottom line, the budget is not there at BMW for sportscar racing--too
busy building insanely powerful F1 engines that struggle to deliver full
power without blowing up over a 1.5 - 2 hour race distance ;-)

The DC race sure was an exciting one I thought. Good crowd too. Let's hope
they can bring this one back--I hear tell NIMBYism looms large as an
obstacle for this event in the future.

What was unfortunate was not being able to keep the PTG team in ALMS this
year--they are surely missed. ACO wouldn't budge, though, and ALMS is
strictly tied to ACO rules.

Mike Veglia
Motor Sport Visions Photography

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