It will be a rare occasion when the new BMW M5 fails to stand out as the star of any show, but the inaugural BMW Power Festival at Rockingham (May 21 / 22) is pitching a host of BMW ‘legends’ head-to-head with the UK’s newest must-have ultimate driving machine.
The public event at the Rockingham race circuit will bring together the most exciting collection of BMW road and race cars ever seen in the UK. Highlights will include the Williams BMW FW27 Formula One car (the first time an F1 car has taken to the Rockingham race circuit since 2003), the BMW V12 LMR (1999 24 Hours of Le Mans and Sebring 12 Hours winner), and the 2005 FIA World Touring Car Championship BMW 320i. Andy Priaulx, the British winner of the 2004 FIA European Touring Car Championship (ETCC) winner, will display his driving prowess at the wheel of the F1 and ETCC cars.
Not to be outdone, the new M5 will be employed as pace car for all racing and display activities and, via a lottery system, a number of lucky spectators will enjoy the rare opportunity of flying passenger laps in the new car in front of the crowded stands. Flying laps will also be available in a specially constructed two-seat WTCC BMW 320i.
M5 sets the pace
Rockingham in May will not be the only circuit activity in 2005 graced by the new M5’s presence and performance.
BMW’s most powerful road car to date will be joined by an M6 as the pace cars at all rounds of MotoGP, the motorcycle grand prix series dubbed, "The most exciting race series in the world". Not only will this dynamic duo be seen (and heard) by the hundreds of thousands of spectators attending the season’s racing, but the best qualifier over the whole series will receive an M5 from BMW.
M cars will not be the only BMW wheels in motion during the MotoGP series as stripped-down, race-engineered versions of BMW’s newest motorcycle, the ‘naked’ K1200R, will be competing in the BMW PowerCup on the same race card. The K1200R will be the UK’s most powerful naked sports bike when it goes on sale in June, a clear indication of BMW’s new direction for its motorcycles.
Closer to home and the M5 is also being used as the pace car in the UK’s newest and most exciting junior single seat motorsport activity, Formula BMW. Aimed at the F1 stars of tomorrow, Formula BMW is an ideal first step for 15-year-olds and above on their way to motorsport stardom, and the new M5 is showing them the way around Brands Hatch and Silverstone.Published 26 April 2005