BMW takes wraps off its 19th ‘Art Car’

Photo: BMW North America
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One of the BMW Team RLL BMW M6 GTLMs will race in the manufacturer’s 19th “Art Car” livery in next year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.

The car was unveiled in Miami Beach’s Botanical Garden, with livery artist John Baldessari joined by Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO, BMW of North America, and Jens Marquardt, Director BMW Motorsport.

Baldessari explained the car’s livery concept:

“I have done only one work in my life involving a car before, and that was an image of a car. So for the BMW Art Car project, I entered uncharted territory, not just in terms of the subject, but also moving from two- to three-dimensional art. A challenge I did enjoy!

“The ideas all came at once: for instance, the red dot on the roof, so you can see it from above, FAST on one side and a picture of the car on the other side. I like the ambiguity, having two-dimension and three-dimension at the same time.

“Considering the car as an icon of contemporary life, my concept turned out playfully satirical, but it also highlights some of the trademark ideas that I use. So you can say, the BMW Art Car is definitely a typical Baldessari and the fastest artwork I ever created!”

This “Art Car” is no doubt one of those where we’ll say “art is in the eye of the beholder,” as at first glance, it lacks the striking, almost hypnotic livery of the most recent BMW “Art Car,” Jeff Koons’ livery on the BMW M3 GT2 which ran in 2010 (see below).

LE MANS, SARTHE - JUNE 09: Andy Priaulx of Great Britain drives the #79 BMW Motorsport BMW M3 which was painted by artist Jeff Koons during practice for the 78th running of the Le Mans 24 hours race at the Circuits des 24 Heures du Mans on 9 June 2010 in Le Mans, France. (Photo by Darrell Ingham/Getty Images)
LE MANS, SARTHE – JUNE 09: Andy Priaulx of Great Britain drives the #79 BMW Motorsport BMW M3 which was painted by artist Jeff Koons during practice for the 78th running of the Le Mans 24 hours race at the Circuits des 24 Heures du Mans on 9 June 2010 in Le Mans, France. (Photo by Darrell Ingham/Getty Images)

BMW is yet to reveal its formal lineups for the 2017 race seasons, but as most German manufacturers do, will do so at its year-end program this month.

Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
Barry Chin / Getty Images
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

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Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.