Gallery: M celebrates its 40th birthday
And TopGear.com headed to Germany to join the party… Rowan Horncastle reports
Posted: 11 Dec 2013
As soon as we leave the pits we're overtaken by Harald in the M1 ProCar. Now, this wouldn't usually be a problem, because we're not even in a race. But racing drivers don't like to be overtaken - especially Marc. Even though we're underpowered, with a 300 hp, 2.3-litre four-cylinder, this doesn't stop the two veterans rolling back the years for a tussle.
With a screaming 8,200 rpm redline cheering us on, Marc resorts to vintage DTM tactics: using the kerbs as launchpads to catapult the E30 over, not through chicanes. To my surprise, the extremely rigid E30 gives the M1 a good run for its money - largely because Harald still has a love for looking out of the side window. But where the M1 seems like you're constantly wrestling with the power, the naturally M3 is a lot more nimble on its feet, staying perfectly flat in the corners. It's a visceral, violent lesson in the physics of a racing car.