SUMMER IN WHITE BLUE.
Exactly 30 years ago, the start flag was lowered for a world championship that had never existed before: the World Touring Car Championship. Each race was 500 kilometres long; two drivers shared a car. However, only a small number of the cars were able to collect World Cup points – fifteen cars in total. Four BMW, seven Alfa Romeo, three Ford and one Maserati. On 22 March 1987, the starter in Monza, Italy, launched a wildly determined fighting group. Over eleven races, they wanted to find out the very best – and of course, there could only be one.
BMW M3 THE PERFECT DRIVING MACHINE.
With the first BMW M3 of the E30 series, BMW had an extraordinary winner that had shown tremendous potential in the preceding year. Roberto Ravaglia, from Schnitzer Motorsport Team, merged in front with his white BMW M3 from the start. However, a whole series of disqualifications overshadowed the races. Ford made a start in the opening race, but BMW met it straight after: If the underside of the vehicle was too thin, the victory was forfeited. It went on dramatically, as more and more contenders became ineligible for championship points. In the end, only six cars – four BMW and two Ford – remained.
AND THE WINNER WAS …
The first World Touring Car Championship ended on 15 November 1987 in Fuji, Japan, with a victory for Klaus Ludwig and Klaus Niedzwiedz in a Ford Escort. However, it was not enough for the two winners of the last race. With a one-point advantage, Italian Roberto Ravaglia took the title after an extremely exciting and nerve-wracking season: World Champion in a touring car, the BMW M3.
OVER AND OUT.
However, it remained that way for a long time. The Touring Car World Championship was not continued, and resorted back to the European Championship. In 2004, for the first time, the World Automobile Association in Paris decided to convert the previous Touring Car Championship into a new World Championship with the title "World Touring Car Championship", which started in 2005. At that time, the first BMW M3 was already parked in the museum.
The BMW Group Classic was reminiscent of these spectacular times in 2017, during the 75th Goodwood Members Meeting with Roberto Ravaglia in a BMW M3. Alongside Ravaglia, Gerhard Berger also started out in a 635 CSi - both legends of times past.