Vintage BMWs are great. Vintage BMWs that race? Even better. Recently BMW Classic (BMW ‘s division that handles vintage cars as well as restores customer cars) competed with the historic Altenmarkt Rally in a historic 2002 Ti race. But the real news? Behind the wheel were two generations of race car drivers – one an experience BMW Touring car Champion and the other an up and coming GP2 star.
Official News: BMW Group Classic took part in the ninth Historic Ice Trophy with a well-known driver line-up and an illustrious BMW works rally car, earning a place on the podium by finishing 2nd in the “up to 1972” class.
Impressive consistency enabled the BMW team to secure a place in the top 10 overall as well, with the driving skill and class of the Cecotto father-and-son line-up proving decisive. Johnny Cecotto Snr – a multiple motorcycle world champion and BMW touring car champion – and his son, successful GP2 driver Johnny Cecotto Jnr, soon got to grips with the conditions and guided the 1969 works rally car around the ice-covered course with great élan. “It was a new and extremely exciting experience for me to drive in this ice race,” explained 23-year-old Cecotto Jnr during the podium ceremony. The third member of the driver team was Florian Moser, a history expert at BMW Group Classic.
The BMW 2002 TI can look back on an eventful history. The 190 hp rally car competed most notably in the European Rally Championship in 1970 and 1971, with Finn Rauno Aaltonen and Poland’s Sobieslaw Zasada in the driver’s seat. “Sobi” piloted the BMW 2002 TI to victory in the 1971 Rally Poland and BMW also won the 1971 European Rally Championship with Zasada at the wheel. That title win crowned the company’s rally racing campaign – one that had started in the late 1960s under the watch of then BMW racing department boss Helmut Bein – in impressive, victorious style.
The Historic Ice Trophy has been held annually in Altenmarkt, Austria since 2005. It is open to classic cars and recent classics up to and including model year 1993. The six-hour race, which was held for the second time as part of the Historic Ice Trophy event, sees a maximum of 23 vehicles/teams competing with up to four drivers per car. There’s nothing else like it in Europe in this form and it presents an exacting challenge for professionals and aspiring amateurs alike.