If there’s been one racing car that has competed with success in multiple categories and disciplines, established an enormous following and still remains a coveted icon to fans of any and every marque, it has to be the BMW E30. The most powerful variants of this racer were found in the prestigious Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters. Having to compete against V8-powered Audis, the 2.3-liter engines in these beauties spat out frankly unbelievable 320 horsepower, 200 lb-ft of torque and revved all the way to 9200 rpm!
As part of a historic race, this DTM gets a serious flogging, despite racing wheel-to-wheel with a fleet of very expensive machinery. The only car which keeps up with the little, buzzing Beemer is a Zakspeed Ford Capri Turbo, which shows great straight-line performance but can’t quite match the Bavarian brawler in the braking zones nor the long sweepers. Fortunately, these two worked together to make the most of their start.
As often happens with race starts, the pack tends to concertina in the first few corners, often leading to needless accidents. The two stars of this video play it safely and take the outside line, avoiding the troublesome inside, which is awash with racers battling for real estate. Not only does this give them a clean run through the first corner, but it lets them avoid an overly ambitious Jaguar driver spears down the inside and crashes into an expensive Escort.
After avoiding the first corner melee, the two drivers proceed through the pack, managing traffic deftly. Of course, this being a vintage race, the slower drivers are not going to defend their corners with much vigor, but the BMW and the Ford seem to have the measure of the field. Even without gobs of torque, the BMW flies down the straights with well-matched gears and plenty of response exiting the corners.
On full-song, the intake trumpets fill the cabin with a throaty bark as the driver clicks through the dogbox — there’s plenty of information keeping the driver busy. Though the current crop DTM cars bears nothing in resemblance to this modern classic and is much quicker, after watching this video, it’s tough to cite them as more visceral or exciting.