Beyond monster car shows, have you ever seen a car do a backflip? In 2000, Bill Auberlen was driving a BMW V12 LMR during the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta and carried so much speed over a hump in the track that his vehicle did a backflip (check out the video here). The 1,984-pound car with a top speed of 217 mph, lifted off the ground like it was a plane taking off a runway, and completed a full backflip, landing back on its wheels (damaged of course). Bill Auberlen, an American factory race car driver that has become the face of BMW Motorsport in the US, is our featured driver in this article. Throughout his experience and career, Auberlen has become a BMW legend.
Bill Auberlen – BMW Racing
Over the span of Auberlen’s 20+ year career, he has raced and won more with the BMW brand than anyone in the world. Most of his career was spent in sports car racing, but he also designs and builds fast boats and bikes. Using motorsport technology, Auberlen engineered a custom 1,554-hp Chevrolet engine that powered his open-bow Carrera catamaran to world speed and acceleration records. In Bill’s first race with BMW, he was behind the wheel of a M3 GT E36. This vehicle featured an S50 3.0-liter straight-six boasting a horsepower of 295 and was available in the European market in 1995. In 2017 at another Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta race, Auberlen was behind the wheel of an M6 GTLM which is powered by a 4.4-litre V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology boasting 585-hp. Bill has been around for a good chunk of BMW innovation and advancements in technology, racing over 400 times with BMW. A few highlights of his career include two Grand-Am GT Championships and multiple GT Class wins at 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring. Auberlen was named a BMW Brand Ambassador in 2017, and while he stepped down for some time in 2018 as a full-time driver, this year he has returned as a full-time competitor for BMW partnering with Robby Foley in the Turner BMW #96 in the GTD (GT Daytona) class.
2019 BMW Motorsport
BMW Turbo Power has been a technological improvement and success for 50 years. The first BMW Turbo in motor racing (M121) produced 280-hp, fast-forward 50 years to the P48 turbo engine boasting more than 600-hp. Despite the number of years between these engines, both are straight, four-cylinder engines with two-liter capacity and a turbo charger. The sensitive components in both engines require a heat shield to protect it from the amount of heat a turbo charger emits, and a mechanical injection pump supplies fuel to the engines. Much of the difference lies with improvements in design and the amount of pressure that is created gives the P48 600-hp with a top speed of 186-mph.
BMW Race Preparation
At North Bay Bavarian, we enjoy contributing to BMW’s racing culture and pride ourselves in being a performance driven shop. Not only do we perform service and repair for daily driven BMWs, we also perform services to achieve race ready, custom vehicles that are prepared for whatever the track throws at it. North Bay Bavarian has worked on cars that ran the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, NASA East and West Coast Championships, and West Coast Spec E30 Series. Our knowledge and experience in BMWs expand over thirty years and our experts are always ready to help you build your dream race car and prepare it for the track. We partner with DINAN, Miller WAR Chip, aFe Power, Brembo Brake Systems, Ground Control Suspension Systems, Supersprint North America and Wildwood Disc Brakes for MINI and BMW performance modifications. Check out our BMW race preparation page and give us a call at 707-545-0820.