The BMW M1 Procar Championship, sometimes known simply as Procar, was a one-make auto racing series created by Jochen Neerpasch, head of BMW Motorsport GmbH, the racing division of automobile manufacturer BMW. The series pitted professional drivers from the Formula One World Championship, World Sportscar Championship, European Touring Car Championship, and other international series against one another using identically modified BMW M1 sports cars.
Billed as an opportunity to see a mix of drivers from various motorsport disciplines, the championship served as support races for various European rounds of the 1979 Formula One season, with Formula One drivers earning automatic entry into the Procar event based on their performance in their Formula One cars. Austrian Niki Lauda won the inaugural championship. In 1980, the series held some events outside of Formula One schedule, and was won by Brazilian Nelson Piquet. BMW chose not to continue the championship in 1981 to concentrate on their entrance into Formula One.
Jochen Neerpasch, the head of BMW’s Motorsports division, was the first to propose the idea of a one-make championship. The division had started construction of the first sports car for BMW in 1978, the M1, and had planned from the start to enter the new sports car in the World Sportscar Championship in 1979, as well as offering the cars to customers for other series. BMW Motorsport planned to build M1s to meet regulations known as Group 5, but a rule change instituted by the Fédération Internationale du Sport Automobile (FISA) in 1977 altered the requirements for Group 5. The new regulations required a minimum of 400 examples of the M1 to be built to meet Group 4 regulations before the car could be further homologated for the Group 5 category.
The BMW M1 road car
Development of the Group 4 racing car was already under way at the time of the regulation change. Neerpasch believed that rather than delaying their racing program until 400 road cars had been built, racing cars could be built at the same time since they too counted toward the 400 example minimum. A one-make series consisting of the M1 racing cars intended for Group 4 was devised by Neerpasch since the racing cars could not yet legally compete elsewhere, while at the same time allowing BMW to develop the race cars through experience.
To attract drivers to the series, Neerpasch entered into discussions with Max Mosley. Mosley was the head of March Engineering, a constructor which BMW was partnered with in their factory efforts in the European Formula Two Championship. Mosley was at the time a member of the Formula One Constructors Association, and was able to use his position to convince other Formula One constructors to support the use of Neerpasch’s one-make series as a support race for European Formula One events. A ruling and organisation body for the series, known as The Procar Association, was set up by BMW and approved by FISA.
With the Procar Championship announced in spring 1978 at the official unveiling of the M1 road car, Neerpasch and the newly formed Procar Association laid out regulations for the 1979 season. Races were planned for the middle of the Formula One season, when the championship remained in Europe for several months. Practice and qualifying were held on Friday of the race weekend, while the race itself occurred on Saturday. The winner of each race received US ,000, second place received ,000, and third place ,000. Races varied in length, but each lasted for approximately half an hour.
Superkart is a form of motor racing in which the class is a racing vehicle sized like a kart but with several characteristics more strongly associated with open-wheel racing cars.
The most obvious difference between a Superkart and any other form of kart is that they have full aerodynamic bodykits and can race on car circuits over 1,500 metres in length. The power unit, most often, but not exclusively two stroke 250 cc engines, can be specially designed kart engines or production motorcycle engines with either five or six-speed sequential gearboxes. Owing to their high top speed and superb cornering ability, a Superkart’s aerodynamic bodywork includes a front fairing, larger sidepods, and a rear wing. They use either 5-or-6-inch-diameter (130 or 150 mm) tires and wheels and most often race on full size auto-racing circuits.
250 cc Superkarts often[quantify] set faster lap times than much more expensive and technically advanced racing machines. Some British and Australian classes also include 125 cc gearbox karts.
Superkarts race on “long circuits” (e.g. Silverstone, Laguna Seca, Magny-Cours). In the UK they also race on “short circuits” (e.g. Kimbolton), “short circuits” are under 1,500 metres in length.
Superkarts are raced worldwide. There is a multi-event CIK-FIA European Superkart Championship (for 250 cc karts only), and there has in the past been a World Championship, which was last run in 1995.
Powered by a 2-stroke 250 cc engine producing 62 hp for an overall weight including the driver of 205 kilograms, Superkarts have a power/weight ratio of 440 hp/tonne (330 W/kg)(c.5 lbs/hp). Superkarts can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than 3 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h). Their low weight and good downforce make for excellent cornering and braking abilities. A Superkart is capable of braking from 100 mph (160 km/h) to standstill in around 2 seconds, and taking corners at nearly 3 g (30 m/s²).
At some circuits, Superkarts are the outright lap-record holders, at others they run at around Formula 3 lap times.
Ben Wilshire British 125 Open class Superkart
British Superkart Divisions :
Main article: British Superkart Championship
Division 1 is open to 250 cc karts with one or two cylinders and five or six speed gearboxes. Typically the karts produce 100 hp and are capable of 160 mph – the fastest form of kart. This formula was previously known as Formula E.
Division 2 is for single cylinder karts with 5 and 6-speed boxes. Typically these karts produce 65 hp and are capable of 140 mph. However, being lighter than the twin cylinder (Division 1) karts they can be as quick on twisted circuits. This formula was previously known as 250 International. However the main British series is for single cylinder 250 cc karts with 5-speed only, also known as 250 National.
125 Open – Powered by 125 cc engines and again featuring 6-speed sequential gearboxes, this sprint kart class uses lighter chassis than the 250’s.
125 ICC (KZ) – Powered by similar 6-speed 125 cc engines to the 125 Open class with tighter tuning restrictions, this CIK sprint kart class hosts some of the closest Superkart racing in the UK.
2007 Australian 250 cc International champion Warren McIlveen (Stockman-Honda)
Australian Superkart Classes:
Main article: Australian Superkart Championship
Superkarting in Australia has, since 1989, referred to any form of racing kart to race on full-size motor racing circuits, usually as sanctioned by the Australian ASN, CAMS.
250 cc International – commonly referred to as twins or inters, these karts are powered by twin cylinder engines and usually have 6-speed sequential gearboxes. Several European and North American chassis are popular in addition to locally developed designs.
250 cc National – single cylinder class, the 250 National class is powered by 250 cc motocross engines and also feature 6-speed sequential gearboxes.
125 cc Gearbox – most often powered by 125 cc Honda and Yamaha Grand Prix motorcycle engines equipped with six speed sequential gearboxes, this Superkart class uses mostly the same chassis as the 250 classes. They run at lighter weights than the 250 classes, which makes for close racing with mid-field 250 Nationals at some circuits.