1978 BMW 320 Turbo IMSA Race Car Team McLarenSOLD

David Hobbs IMSA BMW “light weight”

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This car is the special “light weight” car introduced by Team McLaren in late May of 1978 to compete against the Porsche 935s that dominated the grids. In its second race at Sears Point, David Hobbs took the pole position and went on to win. This car is over 200 lbs lighter than the previous model with more power, bigger brakes, and better aerodynamics. Hobbs campaigned the car in the remaining 1978 IMSA races and in all of the 1979 IMSA races scoring 3 first place finishes and finishing second in the IMSA Championship in 1979. The car is a time machine and is in “as-raced” condition from 1979, with a rebuilt engine.

Weight: 1850 lbs
Manufacturer: BMW Motorsport, Engine by McLaren
Race Team: McLaren
Displacement: 2.0 Liter
650 Horsepower

Reference Number 7311

as of 2/20/2007

Overview
Car 1978 BMW 320 Turbo IMSA Race Car Team McLaren
VIN 003 
Exterior / Interior Color      White 
Condition Very Good 
Configuration Left Hand Drive (LHD) 
Transmission Manual Shift 
Options Competition: Full Race setup 
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Known History

History

The 320 became BMW’s weapon in the European racing scene after the exit of the highly successful 3.0 CSL in 1977. Both non-turbo and turbocharged versions of the highly successful Formula 2 ‘M12’ engine powered these racecars. The BMW Junior Team who’s up and coming drivers Eddie Cheever, Marc Surer and Manfred Winkelhock drove to eight victories made the non-turbo versions famous in the 1977 German Racing Championship.

 

The Turbo versions of these cars were raced in both Europe and the US. The European turbo cars had 1.5 liter engines while the US versions had 2.0 liter engines. The BMW owned versions of the 320 turbo you see here was campaigned by Team McLaren and driven by David Hobbs to 7 wins in the IMSA Camel GT series in 1977 and 1978. American Jim Busby also campaigned a sister car in the 1979 IMSA Camel GT series.

 

Significantly, the 320 turbo engine was the test bed for the BMW/Brabham BT52 that took Nelson Piquet to the 1983 Formula 1 World Championship.

 

Race History

1978 IMSA

Lime Rock Hobbs DNF

Sears Point Hobbs (Pole Position) 1st

Mid Ohio Hobbs, Klausler 2nd

Road Atlanta Hobbs 24th

 

1979 IMSA

Road Atlanta Hobbs 6th

Riverside Hobbs 38th

Laguna Seca Hobbs 2nd

Hallett Hobbs 1st

Lime Rock Hobbs 2nd

Brainerd Hobbs 2nd

Mid Ohio Hobbs, Bell 9th

Sears Point Hobbs 24th

Portland Hobbs DNF

Road America 500 Hobbs, Bell 1st

Road Atlanta Hobbs 3rd