It’s nearly five years since BMW dropped its turbocharged bombshell on an unsuspecting fanbase. Harking back to the times of the 2002 Turbo, the 1M Coupe combined the smallest available chassis with a huge amount of torque.
“I wanted it,” admits Simon Eibl of Laptime-Performance.de. “I bought one almost straight away. And I promised myself I wouldn’t modify it too much.”
Fortunately for us, Simon didn’t keep that promise.
I meet Simon at his Finsing workshop, just outside of Munich. It’s a four-hour drive from Nürburg, and we’re only half-way there. His car is already loaded, and after a short break, we hit the road and head even further south…
The location is Austria’s Red Bull Ring, Spielberg. What was once the A1-Ring is now Red Bull’s flagship.
A home venue to showcase the corporate might of the energy drink giant. It worked. It’s genuinely impressive. The scenery is perfect, every grandstand is a perfectly judged riot of colour.
Autumnal forests, deep blue wintery skies, crisp cold air and the occasional wisp of fog blowing through the valley below. Does it get any better than this?
Unloading the 1M into the F1-spec garages of the Red Bull Ring, it’s apparent that it’s about to get whole lot better. Most pit garages in Europe come with power, some come with single and two-phase, but this is the first I’ve seen that comes with compressed air!
Simon heads out to warm everything up, while I sit shotgun and start to learn the circuit.
The Red Bull Ring is not a long circuit, but it’s not simple either. It’s fast and flowing, with some tricky sections and lots of elevation changes. From the startline it’s a ballistic climb up the side of the slopes surrounding the circuit, ending with a swooping downhill section.
Then it’s my turn. I think it’s time to let the video do the talking:
As you can see above, Simon’s car is a rolling showcase for his tuning business. It’s more than just a collection of bolt-on tuning parts (although those KW Compeition 3-ways are undeniably fantastic).
There’s a lot of time, thought and love gone into this car. The details show undeniable depth of thought and purpose.
I’m having an awesome time, the 1M has its own playful character that perfectly suits the swooping corners of the old A1-Ring.
We use the mandatory 1-hour lunchtime break to shoot some fun photos.
The afternoon flies by. The last trackday of 2015, and before long the sun is getting pretty damn low in the sky.
I can’t stop taking photos. The light, the textures… the car.
But soon I don’t have a choice. I’m still shooting as Simon pulls the tarp down on the side of the trailer.
This was my first time to the Red Bull Ring, but hopefully it won’t be my last.
- Simon of Laptime-performance.de for his awesome hospitality and the invitation to drive his awesome car
- Marcus of ZK-Trackdays.de for the track time on one of the best-kept secrets of the F1 calendar.