Brian Redman’s Targa 66 at the Palm Beach International Raceway is an event that allows owners of vintage performance cars, modern performance cars, and race cars of all ages to actually drive their special cars at speed, without the dangers of actual racing. BMW Motorsport started at the track a few days before with a shakedown of retired racecars. Pro Driver and BMW Ambassador Bill Auberlen came down for the event and raced in different BMW cars, along with BMW of North America’s Tom Plucinsky, also a very skilled driver.
If you like vintage race cars and performance cars, this event is for you. There were cars on hand that simply cannot be seen in many other places, such as the legendary BMW V12 LMR and the E46 M3 GTR. We were fortunate enough to be in attendance to see such icons of motorsport and were able to snag some photos of the event.
BMW V12 LMR
The BMW V12 LMR might just be the coolest race car the brand has ever built. It was built for Le Mans racing and won the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as the 1999 12 Hours of Sebring. While its career was short lived, it was an incredibly successful and thrilling race car, using a modified version of the McLaren F1’s engine. Seeing the V12 LMR up close, and listening to its incredible engine, is a real treat.
BMW M3 GTR E46
Right up there with the V12 LMR, among the coolest BMW race cars of all time, is this, the E46 BMW M3 GTR. With a bespoke V8 stuffed under its hood, BMW was able to take Porsche down in the ALMS series. However, because the incredible P60B40 V8 engine wasn’t actually used in any production BMW at the time, Porsche challenged that BMW had violated the regulations, as manufacturers were supposed to use road car engines. Still, this little rule-breaker was one of the coolest cars BMW ever produced and used one of its very best engines.
BMW M6 GTLM
The BMW M6 GTLM might not be the most iconic or most famous of BMW race cars but it was one that was quite beloved by both fans of BMW Motorsport and its drivers. The M6 GTLM was obviously based on the road-going BMW M6 and used its 4.4 liter twin-turbo V8 engine, although modified to make up to 585 horsepower, depending on the race classification. It’s been retired for some time now so it was nice to see it again.
BMW M8 GTE
This is the car that replaced the M6 GTLM and, much like its predecessor, was built on its road-going sibling. The BMW M8 GTE is one of BMW’s best looking race cars in a long time and much of its race technology and know-how has trickled over to the road car.
BMW Z4 GTLM
A fan favorite race car from BMW Motorsport is the Z4 GTLM. BMW had some success with the Z4 GTLM but that’s not what made fans love it. Instead, there are two major reasons for why the Z4 GTLM is so desirable. The first is its design. Just look at it. The second-gen Z4 was always a gorgeous car but the GTLM is even better. The second reason is that, rather than a comparatively dinky inline-six from the road car, the Z4 GTLM used a 4.4 liter twin-turbo V8. Imagine a V8 in that little body? Sounds incredible.
BMW M1/C IMSA Prototype
The BMW M1/C IMSA Prototype is not a well-known race car, even by die-hard BMW fans. That’s because it only really raced for one season. After a failed career in racing, BMW took the M1 to the American IMSA series, where it raced in the prototype class under the M1/C name and ended up having a successful season. It used a modified version of the road-going M1’s 3.5 liter naturally-aspirated inline-six, making 480 horsepower and a ton of noise.