1999-2000 BMW LMR

Images courtesy and copyright Chris Abele, Greg Cooper, Bradley Knox, Kurt Maske, and Mike Smith
Text copyright Michael J. Fuller
1999 BMW LMRBMW'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 and 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. 
1998 BMW V12 LMBut 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.
Click on each image below...
1999 BMW LMR Specifications
Designer:Cheif of Design: John Russell
Chief Aerodynamicist: Jason Sommerville
Consultant Designer: Graham Humphrys
Stylist: Peter Stevens
Layout: Mid-engine, rear-wheel drive
Monocoque: Carbon fiber and aluminum honeycomb monocoque
Engine: 5990 cc V12, normally aspirated, 4 valves per cylinder.
Horsepower: 590+ bhp
Torque: 500+ lbft
Gearbox: X-Trac sequential 6-speed gearbox
Steering: Rack and pinion
Brakes: Hitco carbon discs
Front: 380 mm/ 15.0 in.
Rear: 355 mm/14.0 in.
Tires: Michelin Radial
Front: 33/65-18
Rear: 36/71-18
Length: 4650 mm
Width: 2000 mm
Height: 1020 mm
Wheelbase: 2790 mm
Front Overhang: 970 mm
Rear Overhang: 890 mm
Track Front: 1641 mm
Track Rear: 1596 mm
Weight: 914.5 kgs. (1999 Le Mans average)
Tank capacity: 90 liters
ęCopyright 2002, Michael J. Fuller