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BMW North America CEO To Drive In Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion


The 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL, to be driven by BMW NA CEO Ludwig Willisch

The 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL, to be driven by BMW NA CEO Ludwig Willisch

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When we say “company president and CEO,” what kind of suit comes to mind? Chances are it’s made of wool, tailored for a precise fit and best worn with a carefully-knotted silk tie and shiny shoes.

While BMW’s North American president and CEO, Ludwig Willisch, wears that kind of suit to the office during the week, he’s not averse to donning a fire-resistant Nomex suit on the weekend, particularly when doing so allows him to drive a 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL racer at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Willisch will pilot the car, one of five campaigned by BMW during the 1975 and 1976 season, as part of the Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion, scheduled for August 17 - 19. He’s in good company, since previous BMW 3.0 CSL drivers include legendary names like Sam Posey, Brian Redman and David Hobbs.

In Willisch’s own words, “The 3.0 CSL is a storied car in BMW of North America’s history as it won the 12 Hours of Sebring just days after the subsidiary was founded in 1975. Driving it on an equally legendary circuit will be quite a thrill.”

The 3.0 CSL isn’t the only historic BMW to run at this year’s Monterey Motorsport Reunion, as the automaker is also bringing a 1980 M1 Group 4 racer, as campaigned in the 1981 IMSA GTO Series. Brian Redman will pilot this 490-horsepower beast for the amusement of event spectators.

Another BMW running at Laguna Seca will be a 1986 BMW March GTP prototype, one of three constructed. The 800-horsepower car racked up a single race win, at Watkins Glen in 1986, and will be driven in Monterey by David Murry.
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