More than 1,000 customers gathered at the spectacular Fuji Speedway last Saturday to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Nicole Racing and to experience a day full of automotive pleasures. Over 500 cars from all over Japan made the journey to Mount Fuji, amongst them an incredible number of rarities, seldom seen super sports cars and fine classics.
Conditions on the day could not have been better and every minute on the circuit was used intensively with driving taking place in graded categories. While the Family Class enjoyed the special ambiance of this historic Formula 1 racing circuit, the Open Sports Class routinely tested the limits of car and driver.
Rarely did such a considerable collection of BMW ALPINA automobiles come together at the same time - a total of 143 vehicles were registered. In addition to current models of various series, there were also many historical treasures to admire, for example several BMW ALPINA B10 Bi-Turbos, a BMW ALPINA B6 2.7 and a C2 2.5 and even a particularly rare BMW ALPINA CSL.
Absolute highlight of the event was the participation of ex BMW Formula 1 racing driver Juan Pablo Montoya who piloted the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 impressively and in the best form around the fast Fuji Speedway. A handful of guests also had the unique opportunity to experience the track up close and in the extreme during hot laps which Andreas Bovensiepen chauffeured himself in the winning GT3 Championship race car from 2011.
In 1977 Nico Roehreke began the sale of high-quality motorsport accessories from predominantly European brands such as AP Racing. At the same time, ALPINA, until this point primarily involved in motorsports, brought a whole range of high-performance road vehicles onto the market.
After Nicole Racing first imported the initial BMW ALPINA B7 to the Japan based on the BMW 5 Series in 1979, the company, now grown to more than 300 employees, has been the exclusive ALPINA importer in Japan for the last 37 years. In addition, Nicole Racing operates several BMW, MINI, Rolls Royce and Ferrari showrooms in the Tokyo metropolitan area.
Besides Germany and the USA, Japan is a key market for ALPINA with up to 5,000 automobiles having been exported to date. Japanese customers, by nature obsessed by technology and the smallest details, are particularly impressed by the unique combination of outstanding driving performance, luxurious comfort, maximum personalisation and craftsmanship "Made in Germany".