Category Archives: 2014

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June 2014 BMW of North America Open House and E30 M3 SIGFest

        SIGFest is the annual meeting of the members of the E30 M3 Special Interest Group. This year marks the 15th SIGFest gathering and could not have been held at a better venue, BMW of North America. BMW NA was kind enough to open their doors and extensive property to some of the most dedicated automotive enthusiasts that I have ever met. The excitement in the air was palpable. Some of the most pristine E30 M3s on the East Coast juxtaposed by BMW’s newest offerings, including the new fifth generation F80 and F82 M3/M4 and even an i8! Even against such a technologically advanced backdrop of turbocharged and hybrid powered machines bristling with carbon fiber composite components, ultimately, it was the E30s that drew the crowds.

        This year’s event drew over 60 E30 M3s. Examples ranged from immaculate, bone stock, no expense spared restorations, to full blown race cars that have probably seen more tire changes than applications of wax. The cars that fell in between these extremes were powered by everything from the standard S14 powerplant, to S54 swaps that somehow look perfectly at home in the E30’s engine bay. It’s always enjoyable to listen to the owners talk about their cars, how they acquired them, future plans, and their never-ending quests to find just the right piece to complete their builds.

        A lot of talk gets thrown around regarding what makes an M car an M car. It’s not just a badge. The E30 M3 is a total package, it can do a lot, and it does it all well. To this day the E30 M3 remains a standard by which modern sports car offerings are measured. It is the essence of BMW Motorsport condensed into streetcar form. To me, it is not only one of the best M cars ever, but one of the best cars ever, period. The designers and engineers that conceived this car never could have known that it would have such a lasting influence on the automotive world, but the fact remains that it has. With the level of care and maintenance that the SIGFest attendees pour into their M3s, street going versions of this icon will continue to inspire onlookers for many years to come.

        They say that you should never meet your heroes, well who ever coined that phrase has never sat in an E30 M3. I met mine, and I won’t rest until one occupies a place in my garage.


BMW F80 M3 in Yas Marina Blue

BMW F80 M3 standard brakes. 

BMW F80 M3 in Yas Marina Blue

BMW F80 M3 in Yas Marina Blue

BMW i8 Interior. 

BMW i8 Interior. 

BMW i8 Interior. 

BMW i8 Interior. 

BMW i8 Interior. 

BMW i8 Interior. 

F80 M3 rear standard brakes.

Yas Mariana Blue F80 M3

E30 M3 on BBS LM wheels

Austin Yellow F82 M4

Since this is not a final production car, the carbon strut brace is not present, and the engine badging is obscured.

BMW 2002 Turbo

BMW 2002 Turbo

BMW 2002 Turbo

BMW 2002 Turbo

BMW 2002 Turbo

Daytona Violet E34 M5 interior

E30 M3 on one-off Livery BMW M1 Tribute wheels

BMW Z8

BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS with strong driver line-up for home race – More BMW Z4 GT3s in action in the Ardennes.

Official BMW Press Release:
Munich (DE), 5th June 2014. As well as the Nürburgring 24 Hours (DE) on 21st/22nd June, BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS is also preparing for the second highlight of the 2014 endurance season: the 24-hour race in Spa-Francorchamps (BE). The Belgian team will field two BMW Z4 GT3s at its home race in the Ardennes on 26th/27th July, and is putting its faith in a strong driver line-up bolstered by BMW works drivers: Jörg Müller (DE) and the two BMW DTM drivers Maxime Martin (BE) and Augusto Farfus (BR) will share one cockpit. In the second car, Team Principal Bas Leinders (BE) will share the driving duties with BMW works driver Dirk Werner (DE) and Markus Palttala (FI).
“After the Nürburgring, the endurance classic in Spa-Francorchamps is not only another highlight of the season for BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, but also for BMW Motorsport,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “After struggling with technical issues and not achieving the results we had hoped for last year, we are extremely motivated to succeed in this year’s race. You could say that the BMW Z4 GT3 has a score to settle with this classic. BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS will be joined in the Ardennes by numerous other BMW customer teams. It will certainly be another exciting race.”
The provisional entry list for the 24-hour race includes the ROAL Motorsport and TDS Racing teams, as well as Ecurie Ecosse. For these three teams, the Spa-Francorchamps 24 Hours also represents the highlight of the Blancpain Endurance Series season.
Quotes from the BMW Sports Trophy Teams Marc VDS drivers:
Bas Leinders (driver and Team Principal): “The 24-hour race in Spa is our home event, which obviously makes it a very special race for us. I am pleased that we are once again able to compete with two very strong driver line-ups this year, thanks to the support of BMW Motorsport. The BMW Z4 GT3 is extremely reliable this season. As a result, we are confident we can make it onto the podium this year, after finishing fourth in 2012 and last year’s misfortune.”
Jörg Müller: “It is great to be back at the 24 Hours of Spa. Together with Maxime Martin and Augusto Farfus, we have assembled a really strong trio. The BMW Z4 GT3 has been very impressive this season, so I am confident we will challenge for a top result in Spa.”
Maxime Martin: “I have been racing at the 24 Hours of Spa since 2006, so it is definitely my home race. I think I have a good chance alongside my team-mates Augusto and Jörg, as they have both experience and speed – everything you need to be successful in an endurance race.”

Augusto Farfus: “I am very much looking forward to taking part in one of the biggest races for GT cars. I see no reason why we shouldn’t have a chance of winning with the BMW Z4 GT3 and such a strong trio of drivers. This will be my first outing at this classic. It means an awful lot to me, as I will have competed at all the major 24-hour races in the world by the end of the weekend.”
Dirk Werner: “The 24-hour race in Spa is one of my favourite races. I have fond memories of my races in 2010 and 2011, both of which I ended on the podium. The track is a highlight for me and, with what is a very durable BMW Z4 GT3 this year and my strong team-mates, we can hopefully be right up there among the front-runners again.”
Markus Palttala: “I really love the circuit in Spa, it’s my absolute favorite. I’ve been a part of the 24-hour-race from the beginning of its GT-era. My first start was back in 2000 and this will be my 14th. So I know what to expect and how to deal with the special challenges of such a marathon. I’ve won the class there, but my dream is to win it outright once in my career. We finished fourth in 2012 and were leading last year with the BMW Z4 GT3, so I know we have a package to do it if we get everything right.”