The BMW M1 debuted as a road-legal performance car in 1978. Just a year later, the world saw the start of the BMW M1 Procar Championship, which pitted professional pilots from different racing series against each other in a one-make racing competition. For the needs of the championship, the Munich-based automaker created the M1 Procar race car, which remains a central element in the history of the BMW M division. So much so that you can still see M1 Procar examples race in different events around the world.
This past weekend, the Goodwood Festival of Speed saw a number of very interesting and fast cars go up that legendary 1.16-mile hill. There was no shortage of cool Bimmers and one particular example that caught our attention was a black-and-red M1 Procar. Unfortunately, it didn’t have the best possible Sunday (this is when the actual uphill race happens) after losing traction at a corner and hitting the hay.
As you can see from the video that is attached at the top of this page, we are not talking about a serious crash. But what exactly happened? The car’s front left wheel was on the grass while the driver was trying to brake before the corner. That wheel didn’t have enough traction and the section of tarmac that followed wasn’t enough for the race car to slow down enough and avoid hitting the fodder that’s used as a safety barrier at the Goodwood FoS. Fortunately, the impact wasn’t at high speed and driver Steven Osborne was fine after the accident.
Gallery: 1979 BMW M1 Procar
As far as we are aware, the car you see in the footage is a 1979 BMW M1 Procar. Under the hood is BMW’s M88 3.5-liter straight-six engine, which in this application is good for around 470 horsepower. The mill is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox with a new cooler compared to the road-legal car and new gear ratios. Even more importantly, the suspension is completely different on the race car, featuring adjustable anti-roll bars.