Triumphant racing machine: BMW 320 Group 5 E21 R1-08
What happened before…
In 1976 the series production of CSL and the model 2002 was discontinued. BMW therefore needed a car for the new regulations of Group 5. Since BMW M1was only in production, Rainer Bratenstein received the challenging task of building a Group 5 racing car. A BMW-320 body shell formed the base. Because of the short time windows Bratenstein had to fall back on the proven racing technology of CSL Renncoupé. The frequently proven BMW-12/7 Formula-2 engine was used as the engine.
E21 R1-08: One of the first
In 1976, BMW produced one of the first series of BMW 320 Group 5 kits and delivered 15 of these to private teams. A further five kits were developed as works cars by BMW.
One of these early kits (E21 R1-08) was acquired by Team GS Tuning Freiburg and developed as a competition vehicle in accordance with the new Group 5 regulations, which applied in the German Racing Championship (DRM) from the 1977 season.
DRM 1977 – Jörg Obermoser – Warsteiner
Jörg Obermoser drove the new BMW 320 Group 5, having already successfully taken part in the German Racing Championship (DRM) with GS Tuning in a BMW 2002 since 1974. In addition to coming second in the championship in the 1974 season behind Glemser and ahead of Ludwig, Obermoser came fourth overall in the final championship rankings for the 1975 and 1976 seasons. The new BMW 320 was given the famous Warsteiner design, which was to be seen on Obermoser/GS vehicles since the 1975 season. However, Obermoser was unable to follow up on his previous successes in the new Group 5 vehicle. His best single result in the DRM 1977 was fifth place at the Int. Westfalen Cup Race (Zolder, Belgium).
DRM 1978 – Markus Höttinger – Fruit of the Loom
In order to taste success again in the new season, Gerhard Schneider (GS Tuning) decided to use another Group 5 car in 1978.
In order to find the best candidate for the cockpit, Schneider took an unconventional approach for the time. He had Ketterer, Scharmann, Krankenberg and Krebs race against each other in a trial at the Hockenheimring. The vehicle used was the Obermoser car from the previous year. Since then, however, the car had been turned the brilliant blue of the new main sponsor, Fruit of the Loom. Mario Ketterer emerged as the best driver of the field. Albrecht Krebs was ultimately faster, but only after he had put on new tires.
However, Schneider then decided to organise a further competition and had Krebs, Höttinger and Wolf compete against each other.
Austrian Markus Höttinger, at the age of 21, was considered a great racing talent and had won the Renault 5 Cup in the 1977 season. Höttinger was then given a works contract by BMW Motorsport for the 1978 season, but did not have a cockpit.
And so Schneider did not decide in favour of Wolfgang Wolf, who had the quickest race time, but for the somewhat slower Markus Höttinger. The risk of losing the BMW works support was simply too great for Gerhard Schneider.
The second cockpit went to Albrecht Krebs, who could bring in the financial resources. A BMW 320 Turbo was to be developed for him, but this was only used in the fifth race of the season in Mainz-Finthen following significant delays.
The talent Höttinger was to start the 1978 DRM season in the old Obermoser BMW 320 sports car.
In his first touring car season, Höttinger got on brilliantly in the BMW sports car and achieved a total of seven podium positions and three wins. A new car with a turbo engine was only made available to him for the second last race at the Norisring. Unfortunately, he didn’t manage to gain any more points before the end of the season. He finished the season outstandingly, ranked fourth overall behind Ertl, Hezemans and Wollek.
Ready for Race
The vehicle is in authentic condition and has been fully technically restored. We successfully demonstrated the operational capability of the E21 R1-08 at the 76th Goodwood Members Meeting 2018 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZfUouywa5o and at the DRM Classics as part of the DTM Final in Hockenheim in 2019.
Price Upon Request