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BMW at Goodwood's Festival of Speed

20th June, 2010 (copyright image)

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  • BMW 328 Touring replica to drive the hill
  • BMW M3 GT2 Art Car makes UK debut after competing at the Le Mans 24 Hours
  • BMW Z4 sDrive35is represents BMW in the super car runs, although it isn't a super car as such

BMW is a long time sponsor of the Goodwood Festival of Speed and for the 2010 event the Bavarian manufacturer will roll out not only some cars and motorcycles from its heritage but also a selection of the hottest current cars and its latest Art Car. It will be a representation of BMW past, present and future.

Something old...

Seventy years after obtaining a victory in Italy, a newly built replica of the 1940 Mille Miglia winning 328 Touring Coupé will climb Goodwood’s hill. This new, but unique, car comes to Goodwood fresh from competing in the 2010 Mille Miglia. Driven by Guiliano Cané, several times a winner of this competition, the new Touring Coupé won the event outright, covering the 1,000 miles without a single technical hitch.

Although five BMW 328 models contested the 1940 Mille Miglia, the Touring Coupé was a unique car sporting the tubular frame and light weight aluminium body designed by Carrozzeria Touring in Italy. The construction pioneered by the Milanese firm was called ‘Superleggera’, meaning super light. The Touring Coupé weighed in at just 780 kgs and the sleek body boasted a distinctly non-1930s aerodynamic Cd factor of 0.35. The streamlined coupé body made best use of BMW’s powerful 2.0 litre, six-cylinder engine enabling the car to reach speeds of 125 mph, just the ticket for the long, straight roads between Brescia, Mantua and Cremona.

The original car was completed in 1939 and made its debut appearance at the last pre-war Le Mans 24 Hour race. It chased home four cars powered by engines of double its size to finish fifth overall and first in the 2.0 litre class.

With war underway, the axis powers decided that the Mille Miglia would go ahead in May 1940 and BMW was to represent Germany against the might of Italy. Despite the factory Alfa Romeos and French Delages, alongside some other Italian marques competing, the outcome was never in doubt. Driven by Huschke von Hanstein and Walter Bäumer, the Touring lead from flag to flag with the Alfa of Guiseppe Farina (who was destined to become the inaugural Formula 1 World Champion in 1950) some 15 minutes behind.

This historic racing car's replica will ascend the famous Goodwood hill on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday driven by Steve Soper.

Something new

Straight from the Le Mans 24 Hours the latest Art Car, a BMW M3 GT2, will be driven up the Goodwood hill by Dirk Müller. A long time BMW works driver, Müller has raced in the FIA World Touring Car Championship and, more recently in the American Le Mans Series driving a similar M3.

The M3 GT2 is the 17th in the series of BMW Art Cars and has been designed by Jeff Koons, an American artist.

The inspirational idea for an Art Car to race at Le Mans was that of French auctioneer and racing driver Hervé Poulain. It was he who persuaded Alexander Calder to paint a BMW 3.0 CSL for the 1975 24 Hour race.

The Calder car was followed by racing cars painted by Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. All these cars lined up at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the greatest sporting success came with the BMW M1 designed by Warhol, which crossed the finish line in sixth in 1979. No other BMW Art Car has raced at Le Mans since then although Jenny Holzer’s BMW LMR did participate in qualifying in 1999.

Something new for the road too

Obviously one cannot buy a BMW Art Car but there will be more affordable BMW cars, both on display and driving up the hill.

Driving the BMW Z4 sDrive35is in the super car runs will be Jake Humphreys, the BBC’s anchor for Formula 1 coverage. He’ll be accompanied in the Saturday afternoon run by legendary Formula 1 commentator, Murray Walker.

The BMW Z4 sDrive35is is the most powerful roadster in the company’s portfolio today. Its 340hp six-cylinder twin-turbocharged engine produces 340 hp and 450 Nm of torque from as low as 1,500 rpm. Torque in the higher gears rises to 500 Nm courtesy of an overboost function, thus facilitating effortless overtaking. Drive to the rear wheels is through a seven-speed Double Clutch Transmission (DCT) that offers two automated modes or manual gear selection by steering wheel-mounted paddles. It delivers lightning quick gear changes with neither jerk nor lurch. The DCT system also offers the fun of a launch control system.

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The BMW Z4 sDrive35is accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.8 seconds.

To direct all that performance potential onto the tarmac, this flagship Z4 model is equipped as standard with a 10 mm lower ride height, Adaptive M Sport suspension that features electronically-controlled dampers with three different settings – Normal, Sport and Sport+. A further standard chassis feature is Drive Dynamic Control. Via a button on the centre console the driver can select Normal, Sport or Sport+ which each change the performance criteria of the throttle and steering responses, Dynamic Stability Control settings and the shift points on the DCT gearbox.

The Z4 has a retractable roof. However, in the latest generation Z4 the roof is a two piece Retractable Hard-Top that glides into a space behind the passenger compartment to guarantee that the Z4 looks every bit as impressive with the roof down as it does when it is up.

In fact, the BMW Z4 sDrive35is has the perfect balance of power, torque, precise chassis control and driver feedback for Jake Humphreys to thread it up the Goodwood hill with aplomb. It may only cost half, a quarter or even a tenth of the price of a real super car, but it won’t be far behind by them.

Something borrowed

World Superbike rider Troy Corser will ride BMW Park Lane’s UK Superstock spec S 1000 RR up the Goodwood hill. The Australian has recently taken a first World Superbike Championship podium position for BMW at the famous Assen circuit.

Whilst Corser will be entertaining enthusiasts with his unique style, road tester and superstock racer Michael Neeves, will be riding a slightly slower machine up the hill in the shape of a historic BMW R25.  Doubtless the 12 hp will seem a little 'pedestrian' after the 200 hp race bike.

The R25 was the first machine built by BMW in the austerity of the post-war period. The 247 cc single cylinder machine was only built between 1950 and 1951 and its appearance at Goodwood offers the opportunity to see a small slice of history from a time when BMW was struggling to rebuild and survive after the loss, or devastation, of its pre-war plants. This machine has been borrowed from BMW Classic, Munich’s keeper of the company’s history, archive and its collection of cars, motorcycles and aero engines.

Also demonstrating on two wheels will be the Irish freestyle stunt rider Mattie Griffin who will be making an appearance on a BMW F800R.

And something blue

Hopefully blue will be the colour of the sky at Glorious Goodwood on the first weekend of July.

Moving motor show

For the first time the 2010 Festival of Speed is adding a day, Thursday, to the programme to present the Moving Motor Show. This exclusive event enables participating manufacturers, of which BMW is one, to invite selected customers and corporate clients to a privileged preview of the Festival and to drive production cars up the hill.

England's Festival of Speed is being held from 1st-4th July 2010 at Goodwood. Entry is by purchase of a ticket in advance of the event.


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