|BMW's LMR prototype set the mold for every LMP to follow it. The single roll hoop and raised footbox became the bench mark as soon as the LMR debuted in 1999. BMW's modern Le Mans assault actually started off a bit inauspiciously in 1998 with the V12 LM, but lessons learned contributed to the very successful LMR. The V12 LM was one of the first car to incorporate a raised footbox and front nose diffuser. Though it had an unorthodox feature, the car took all its cooling air from the exhaust flow of the front nose diffuser. In hindsight this solution was less than ideal as front aero balance was reliant on low ambient track surface temperatures. In order to achieve ideal cooling, the car's front ride height would have to be raised in high track temperature situations.|
|But in 1999 BMW completely redesigned the car starting with the cooling architecture, revising it to take all the cooling air from the top surfaces in a more conventional manner instead of from underneath. The more controversial feature of the car was the incorporation of a single roll over hoop. But BMW simply utilized an over looked rule within the ACO regulations concerning roll hoop design. So, fixing the issues learned with the V12 LM and having a thorough read of the rule book (and essentially designing two cars in two years!), BMW set about the 1999 season to kick some ass! And ass they did kick.|
each image below...