ALPINA – Motor Racing Tradition 1968 – 2014
1968 - Beginning of a success story
Motor racing is very much part of the ALPINA history, in fact ALPINA’s engagement in racing started shortly after the company was founded. The foundations of ALPINA’s impressive successes in motor racing were laid by company founder Burkard Bovensiepen with his engagement in the Touring Car scene. Renowned and famous racing drivers like Derek Bell, Harald Ertl, James Hunt, Jacky Ickx, Niki Lauda, Brian Muir, Hans Stuck and Dieter Quester successfully piloted ALPINA racing cars throughout many seasons. Winning the European Championship in 1977 ALPINA ended its engagement in order to concentrate resources on the development of its road cars. However, this abstinence was short lived, only ten years later ALPINA re-appeared on the scene to the joy of drivers and fans alike in order to compete in the German Touring Car Masters (DTM). Ellen Lohr, Andy Bovensiepen – son of company founder Burkard Bovensiepen -, Fabièn Giroix, Peter Oberndorfer and Christian Danner achieved a number of successes in the BMW ALPINA M3 Group A race car. In 1988 ALPINA again pulled out of motor racing to concentrate production capacities on its current line-up of road cars.
2009 - Return to Racing
After over twenty years, ALPINA returned to international motor racing in 2009 with the completely newly developed BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 race car.
In Europe their are currently four classes for GT motor racing. Ranging from the GT1 class of full-out thoroughbred race cars to the GT4 class of nearly standard production cars. In order to develop a race car which would appeal to a broad range of drivers, from the semi-professional to the ‘gentleman driver’, ALPINA chosed to enter the GT3 class, which is a heavily modified class yet with strong visual resemblance of the underlying production car. The GT3 class enjoys massive popularity, with in 2009 season 12 manufactures (including Audi, BMW, Porsche, Lamborghini, Aston Martin) partaking and battling in a number of different national and international race series.
Using the production version, the road going high-performance BMW ALPINA B6 S Coupé, as a basis, ALPINA engineers researched, developed and engineered the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 in Buchloe, Germany. Upon initial completion and homologation of the B6 GT3, the French team “Sport Garage” snatched-up the first two cars in 2009 to successfully race in the FIA GT3 European Championship as well as the French Serie Championnat de France FFSA and the 24h of Spa.
ALPINA also raced with a factory team in 2009, also partaking in the FIA GT3 European Championship, the German ADAC GT Masters and other selected races including some VLN Long Distance Races and the famous 24h Nürburgring.
Despite the usual ‘teething problems’ and it only being the first season, a number of great achievements were chalked-up by the B6 GT3 in 2009: 4 victories, 9 pole positions and 625 race leading kilometres.
2010 - Works support for customer teams
2010, the ALPINA works team itself was no longer on the starting grid, but concentrated on the support of customer teams. Alongside the existing French customer team “Sport Garage”, the new “s-bergracing“ customer team from Austria was also represented on the international race tracks in 2010. With the ALPINA, the team from Altenmarkt enriched the FIA GT3 European Championship as well as the ADAC GT Masters. The Austrian team was on the podium several times during the Masters and claimed victory in both races during the race weekend at the Nürburgring. Based on the experiences gained, the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 was further improved by the engineers at Buchloe after the season’s end, and intensive work was carried out on the motor, gears, chassis and aerodynamics.
2011 - German GT3 Championship Winner with Engstler Motorsport
The former touring car champion Franz Engstler banked fully on the perfected racing powerhouse from Buchloe in 2011, and, with the LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler, put two cars on the starting grid, one of them with support of the ALPINA works team. Straight away in the opening round of the season in Oschersleben on the Easter weekend, the team from Wiggensbach gained pole position followed by an impressive start-finish victory, as well as third place in the second race. A success story which continued throughout the racing season and culminated in the winning of the Championship titel with the drivers Margaritis and Lunardi in the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 with the start number 41.
2012 - ALPINA works team returns
It was as a matter of kudos that ALPINA was part of the chase in 2012 to defend the title. Maxime Martin joined Lunardi for the 2012 ADAC GT Masters season in the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3. Maxime has been super quick and a real GT veteran, having scored a number of victories in the GT1 World Championship. He was no newcomer to the B6 GT3, which he drove together with Claudia Hürtgen for the first time in Oschersleben, Germany, in 2009, immediately winning the ADAC GT Masters race twice in a row.
Andy Bovensiepen, ALPINA CEO and Head of Motor Sport, was especially pleased about the renewed partnership with Maxime Martin, who is closely associated with the manufacturer of exclusive automobiles from Buchloe because of his father Jean-Michel Martin is the ALPINA importer for Belgium.
The BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 is well prepared for the new season. During the winter break development on the car was on-going, with many details being revised in order to be competitive in 2012 against an increasingly strong field of starters including a number of newcomers such as McLaren, Aston Martin and Chevrolet Camaro. Finally ALPINA finishes fourth position with the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 within the team championship (138 points).
In the drivers‘ championship Martin and Lunardi also achieve position four with 134 points.
2013 - Customer racing with success
Since 2013 ALPINA no longer has factory team on the starting grid, but there are some BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 successfully racing with customer teams.