1972 3.0 CSL Group 2 ETCC
1973 BMW 3.0 CSL Group 2 ETCC #2275997
3,498cc M52 inline six-cylinder, 365 hp @ 8,100 rpm
Scott and Fran Hughes (since 2008)
Sunset, South Carolina
The 3.0 CSL (for Coupe Sport Leichtbau) went into production in August 1971, six months before BMW Motorsport was established. By November 1972 it was homologated by the FIA for Group 2 racing, along with aluminum-magnesium hubs, 5-speed gearboxes, an aluminum differential housing with external radiator, three-plate clutch, and a 3,330cc M52 six-cylinder racing engine with larger valves (still two per cylinder), a magnesium valve cover, and dry-sump lubrication.
For 1973, BMW Motorsport entered the CSL in the European Touring Car Championship (ETCC), fielding a two-car team for drivers Hans-Joachim Stuck, Chris Amon, Dieter Quester and Toine Hezemans.
The cars started the season with a small front spoiler and fender flares, getting the “Batmobile” rear wings, roof spoiler and deeper front air dam for the Nürburgring 6-Hour in July. That’s when the car seen here, #2275997, made its debut, winning the race with Stuck and Amon. It’s certain that #997 also raced at Le Mans, Zandvoort and Silverstone, though determining the individual results of any of Motorsport’s three ETCC CSLs is extremely difficult.
After winning at the ’Ring, Stuck and Amon finished 3rd at Paul Ricard, but they also DNF’d 6 times. “Hans didn’t pay much attention to the tach,” says Art Simonds, then a Motorsport technician. Hezemans and Quester came 2nd at the ’Ring, then won at Spa, Zandvoort, and Paul Ricard. Hezemans also scored two 2nds with Brian Muir and Alpina; he captured the ETCC driver’s title, while Alpina and Motorsport gave BMW the Group 2 manufacturer’s title in the CSL’s first season of racing.
The CSL also came surprisingly close to winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where Hezemans and Quester overcame brake problems to finish 11th overall, first in the Touring class. (Stuck and Amon DNF’d.)
In late 1973, BMW Motorsport sold CSLs #997 and #000 to John Buffum’s Libra Racing. Racing in IMSA as the #24, Buffum finished 7th at Road Atlanta, 6th at Ontario, and 4th at Mid-Ohio. After IMSA’s Daytona Finale on November 25, Buffum took both cars to Mexico City and sold them to Daniel Muniz, who raced one to 4th in the 1,000 km of Mexico City in December 1974. Muniz then brought them to the US, where #000 is thought to have been destroyed in testing at Road Atlanta, while #997 completed three laps at Sebring in 1975.
After that, #997 passed through a number of hands before ending up with Richard Conway in March 1984. After extensive research, Conway restored it to its 1973 Nürburgring Group 2 spec and raced it frequently before selling it to Jimmy Baker in 2005. In 2008, Baker sold it to current owners Scott and Fran Hughes. Scott raced it at Le Mans Classic in 2012 and in many other vintage events.