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Old 21 Mar 2002, 04:33 (Ref:240603)   #1
Lee Janotta
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BMW V12 LMR.... Whatever happened?

I've never heard a conclusive answer to why the V12s were pulled from competition. But I _have_ heard that the Joest boys got quite a scare when they saw one of these Bavarian beauties being pushed down pit road at Sebring this year (was just a museum exhibition, though).

Was it only to make room for the M3 GTR effort? I know Hans Stuck was _really_ dissapointed at not being able to compete in the top class last year.

BMW has automatic invites to LeMans from their GT class win at Road Atlanta last year, right? Wouldn't it be incredible revenge to bring the V12 back to LeMans with no warning, and give Audi a _real_ run for their money?

I know it won't happen, but it's a nice thought.
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Old 21 Mar 2002, 04:36 (Ref:240605)   #2
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F1
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Old 21 Mar 2002, 04:42 (Ref:240607)   #3
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That's all? Seems like an extremely cheap excuse, given the cars were already proven and well-developed. LeMans isn't cheap, but it takes a fraction of the resources F1 does. You can get 5 seasons out of a good design!
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Old 21 Mar 2002, 04:45 (Ref:240611)   #4
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part of the deal bmw made with williams was that williams had to build a sportscar for bmw. the 98 cars were with drawn for something simple like wheel baring failure in one car. the rest pulled for safety reason like the clr-lm in 99. in 99 they came out and won due to a combination of: toyotas bad luck, a bit of their own, and superior gas milage. they did run the 00 alms, with one race win, but, they didnt put the same effort/cash into it.

i dont see why they bothered though. i remember reading online that there was half or less the mechanics working on the car than the year before. they didnt even bother to show up at the race of 1000 years.

then bmw shoved a shoved a race engine into the m3, gave up on lmps, and concentraited on f1.

why do you think toyota stoped racing their gt-one?

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Old 21 Mar 2002, 05:08 (Ref:240615)   #5
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Also some what disappointed when BMW pulled the LM support and went to F1. Although I never wanted Toyota to actually win at LM, I did like watching those red screamers. Guess we will have to wait a few years for a LeMans Classic race to see BMW and Toyota go against Audi.
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Old 21 Mar 2002, 05:24 (Ref:240618)   #6
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Oh, I had assumed the Toyota pullout was a combination of shame over their failure to attain victory, and the rule changes with the death of the GT1 class (I also assumed that was a major part of the Porsche pullout, besides their relationship with Audi).

It seems a shame, Toyota certainly has the resources to run two major motorsports efforts. They should pass those GT1 chassis off to Dan Gurney to upgrade them for GTP. The '80s were exciting because there were so many strong efforts at the same time: Nissan, Mercedes, Porsche, Toyota, Jaguar... Since then there have been great efforts, but rarely have more than two competed directly.

Williams is supposed to build a road car? It'll _never_ happen. Sir Frank's too fickle for something like that to happen.

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Old 21 Mar 2002, 05:29 (Ref:240620)   #7
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toyota helped kill gt1
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Old 21 Mar 2002, 05:36 (Ref:240625)   #8
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Well, yes, certainly... Toyota, Mercedes, Porsche, Lotus, Panoz, Nissan... They all built cars ridiculously outside the spirit of GT1. But, you really can't blame them for fully exploiting the rules. It's what any good team needs to do.
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Old 21 Mar 2002, 05:50 (Ref:240633)   #9
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true ... but, still, they need to STAY and race on.

which is part of the reason why im such a big fan of audi. came in 99 with two different cars. the r8r top 5 in both lemans and sebring despite their gear box troubles. took what they learned, and got the best box in the game and has dominated. bmw came, dnf, won, left. toyota spent millions and left after two attempts with a best placing of 2nd.

hearing that there will be no joest r8s after this year is really sadness to me ... hopefully there will still be customer cars and have audi give them significant support. id hate to see the r8 go the way of the 333sp. id rather see them not raced at all than suffer that fate.
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Old 21 Mar 2002, 05:56 (Ref:240636)   #10
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What death of the GT1 class, if Toyota wanted to they could turn up at Le Mans this year with a car in '99 Le Mans specs and it would still be within the rules. The only difference between GT1 and GT-P is that in GT-P the car doesn't need to have a road going model.
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Old 21 Mar 2002, 05:59 (Ref:240638)   #11
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theyd have to change the rear spoiler at the very least. its illegal to have the rear spoiler as part of the body work now.
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Old 21 Mar 2002, 08:42 (Ref:240706)   #12
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at least bmw and toyota are getting some reasonable publicity out of their f1 campaigns

as opposed to j*%*@r
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Old 21 Mar 2002, 09:39 (Ref:240740)   #13
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"...Oh, I had assumed the Toyota pullout was a combination of shame over their failure to attain victory..."

Very valid point. Combined with the fact that the F1 programmes were signed off, the failure to win Le Mans is probably a highly contributory factor in the pull-out of Toyota and Nissan. Nissan particularly put alot of money into the R390's and their '97 showing in particular will have gained no publicity at all (other than negative in Japan!). This at a time when Nissan were dead broke, so difficult to justify a continued presence.
Brundle hated the R390 so moved to the Toyota team in '98 and proceeded to spin it infront of the Nissan hospitality tent to huge cheers!!

Upshot is Toyota have enough Yen in the bank to return tomorrow, but it comes back to the age old question of whether or not Le Mans and sportscars in general offer sufficient ROI as far as publicity goes...The racing fan has good arguements that it does, but the car-buying-man-on-the-street doesn't even know they exist.
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Old 21 Mar 2002, 09:46 (Ref:240743)   #14
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The V12 was no match for the first incarnation of the R8, why would be anycloser now? I loved the V12 ad thought it was a beautiful car, but it wouldn't be able to beat the R8, even with Muller and Lehto at the helm. I still like to see it race again!
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Old 21 Mar 2002, 12:49 (Ref:240875)   #15
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I unashamedly admit that I loved the GT-One (whatever it and the other supercars may have done to the GT1 category). Toyotas biggest blunder (IMO) was not to bring the GT-One back to Le Mans in 2000 - I'm still of the opinion that they could have beaten Audi that year with room to spare.
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