First unveiled earlier this year in Chicago, BMW makes its return to the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) with a new race-ready BMW M3. After one year of development, the fourth generation E92 based M3 racecar, set out onto the track for the first time, and this video captures the moments.
During the 2001 season, it was pointed out by ALMS rival, Porsche, that the highly successful BMW's E46 M3 GTR was not legitimate with its V8 engine, a homologation violation since all production M3 vehicles had straight six engines. Ensuing weight penalties would have made the GTRs unable to compete in 2002. As a result, BMW withdrew, and since then BMW has been absent from ALMS, until now.
BMW has had an illustrious history with the ALMS starting with the first race ever of ALMS, won by Tom Kristensen, Jorg Muller and Finnish driver, JJ Lehto, in their BMW V12 LMR for the Twelve Hours of Sebring in 1999. More specific to the M3 racecar, BMW also took the checkered flag 53 times out of 118 races from 1995 to the end of 2006.
[CORRECTION: PTG contested ALMS with a 6-cylinder version of the M3 GTR in 2006]