/BMW 1M Coupe To Pace Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

BMW 1M Coupe To Pace Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

BMW 1 Series M Coupe 3 at BMW 1M Coupe To Pace Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

The showtime is officially over for the new BMW 1-Series M Coupe as it’s been assigned an official job, to pace the 49th Rolex 24 Hours Race at Daytona International Speedway by the end of this month. This is the first time that the public gets to see this fast little Bimmer in action on the track. The market launch of 1M Coupe is scheduled for May.

The BMW 1 Series M Coupe pace car will carry an on-board SPEED television camera to give viewers a unique eye on the twice-around-the-clock action. With a 335 horsepower inline-6 engine, a 6-speed manual transmission, and the suspension and brakes from the M3 Competition Package, no modifications to the 1 Series M Coupe will be needed for pace car duty.

Press Release

This year’s contest marks the 35th anniversary of BMW’s overall win at the classic endurance event. In 1976, Peter Gregg, Brian Redman and John Fitzpatrick drove a BMW CSL to victory. BMW has three class wins at the Rolex 24, a M1 driven by Hans Stuck and Alf Gebhardt took GT1 honors in 1981. The BMW Team PTG M3 scored back-to-back wins in the GT3 class at Daytona in 1997 and 1998. Bill Auberlen and Boris Said were co-drivers in those victories and will team up again this year in the BMW-powered Turner Motorsport M3 Coupe.

Rolex Sports Car Series.

Two race cars expected to be in view at the front of the 2011 field are the No. 01 and 02 BMW powered Daytona Prototypes of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Finishing second by only 20 seconds last year, both Ganassi BMWs are sure to contest for overall honors. This year, the team is boosted by a stellar driver lineup that includes BMW of North America driver Joey Hand. Hand will co-drive the No. 01 TELMEX Target BMW Riley with Graham Rahal and defending Rolex Sports Car Series DP champions Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas. Juan Pablo Montoya, Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti and Jamie McMurray will co-drive the No. 02 car.

A total of four BMW-powered Daytona Prototypes and two BMW-powered GT class cars will compete in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

The 49th Rolex 24 at Daytona begins at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, January 29. SPEED television will broadcast 14 hours of the race live from 3:00 p.m. to 10: p.m. ET and 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET Sunday, January 30. A special preview of the race will air at 8:00 p.m. ET Sunday, January 23.

Continental Sports Car Challenge.

On Friday, January 28, more than 20 BMWs will compete in the Grand-Am 200, the opening round of the 2011 Continental Sports Car Challenge. Last season, the BMW M3 won all Grand Sports (GS) class championships, capturing the win at 6 of 10 events. BMW was runner up in the Street Tuner (ST) class. This season will see the ST class feature the pro-racing debut of the BMW 1 Series with two Doran Racing 128i Coupes. The Continental Sports Car Challenge Grand-Am 200 is scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. Friday, January 28.

2011 BMW Contingency Program for Grand-Am Racers.

BMW of North America has posted a lucrative contingency program for Grand-Am competitors:

Class Per-Event Payout* Yearend Payout
1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place Champion Award
GT $5,000.00 $4,000.00 $3000.00 $6,000.00
DP $5,000.00 $4,000.00 $3,000.00 $6,000.00
GS $4,000.00 $3,000.00 $2,000.00 $5,000.00
ST $4,000.00 $3,000.00 $2,000.00 $5,000.00

(Founder / Chief Editor / Journalist) – Arman is the original founder of Motorward.com, which he kept until August 2009. Currently Arman is our chief editor and is held responsible for a large part of the news we publish.