THROWBACK THURSDAY. Road & Track heads to Laguna Seca to race a 1970 BMW 2002 ti in the 2014 Monterey Rolex Reunion. The gits!
Earlier this year, BMW unveiled the 2002 Homage, a 50th anniversary celebration of the famously insane 2002 Turbo. And just to prove that everything is better with Jägermeister, the brand unveiled a ‘Turbomeister’ orange and black liveried example at the recent Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach, complete with ‘pig cheek’ fender flares and 2002-inspired shark nose. You can find those below.
And after some careful YouTube exploration, this brings us to the below on-board footage from the 2014 Monterey Rolex Reunion at Laguna Seca. The driver is Sam Smith (not that one), his employer is Road & Track, and he’s at the wheel of a 1970 Alpina 2002 ti once owned and raced by Alpina and Vasek Polak respectively in the SCCA-affiliated 2.5 Trans-Am series, before being fully restored by BMW of America a few years ago. Before its homologated road car sales eventually led to the birth of the 3 Series, the 2002 ti made a reasonable name for itself on the race circuit when Hans Stuck took victory at the first official Nürburgring 24 Hours. The first of a record 19 – thus far – for BMW.
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It being a 70s racing concoction, the 2002 ti weighs around 900kg, and packs a 220bhp 2.2-litre M10 four-cylinder under the bonnet, a dogleg five-speed, and contemporary R-Compound tyres. And compared with current DTM racing Bimmers, it handles like a pig. But for all the right reasons:
“The car was loose,” explains Sam ‘lucky bastard’ Smith after his race at Laguna Seca. “Loose on turn-in, loose under power, loose if you lift, loose over bumps. You commit the thing, it slides. You lift, it slides. You toe into the throttle with load on, it slides. You could calm the car down a little with some suspension changes, but it wouldn’t be as much fun.” You can check out just how much work Sam needs to put at the wheel in the above on-board footage.
And yes, we know it’s not a Jägermeister paint job, so shut up you pedant.