During BMW’s exciting track presence at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion races last week during Montery Auto Week 2015, Pursuitist visited the formula car paddock and learned that BMW was already looking ahead to a special run one year from now. A company executive told Pursuitist that it would soon be announcing that the rich heritage of the “Ultimate Driving Machine” will be celebrated at the 2016 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, honoring Bavarian Motor Works’ 100th anniversary. The celebration will take place August 18-21, 2016 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on the scenic Monterey Peninsula.
“The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is a perfect stage on which to celebrate 100 years of BMW,” said Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO, BMW of North America, LLC. “The BMW brand was forged on and continues to be refined on racing circuits all over the world.” In the United States, Laguna Seca has played a starring role, Willisch noted. “This year, our BMW Z4 GTLM racing cars finished 1-2 in IMSA competition there – almost 40 years to the date a BMW 3.0 CSL won our very first race on the classic circuit.”
Bavarian Motor Works has a fascinating history. The patriarchs of the brand, Karl Rapp and Gustav Otto instilled a robust DNA in the company in 1916 through the combination of their respective businesses. From its beginnings as an aircraft engine manufacturer, through the addition of motorcycles in 1923 and automobiles in 1928, a century later BMW has become one of the world’s most respected, innovative and popular brands.
“We are honored that BMW celebrated its milestone anniversary at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion,” said Gill Campbell, CEO/General Manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “Ludwig Willisch and his management team have been enthusiastic supporters of historic racing here in Monterey, right down to having Ludwig drive in the 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL.”
More than 900 entry applications will be received for the limited 550 positions when requests for the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is open this October to February. For many, the Rolex Reunion is a motorsports museum springing to life, as authentic cars from as far back as the pre-war era fire up and tackle the challenging circuit.
Following the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will remain the center of BMW focus for a second consecutive week as the circuit will host the BMW Car Club of America’s annual Oktoberfest and the BMW Rider’s Association Annual Rally on August 24 – 28.