Amon and his Batmobile Star at the New Zealand Festival of Motorsport
24 Hours of Le Mans winner and Formula One star Chris Amon is in the midst of a reunion with his 1973 BMW 3.0 CSL ‘Batmobile’. The pair are among an impressive line-up of drivers and machines present at the New Zealand Festival of Motorsport, which is taking place at Hampton Downs over the weekends of the 20th – 22nd and 27th – 29th of January, 2012.
The 2012 New Zealand Festival of Motorsport is celebrating New Zealand’s rich motorsport heritage with a BMW theme and bringing together many of BMW’s classic machines along with the men who drove them.
Amon, who got his start in Formula One racing in the Tasman Series and went on to demonstrate immense speed with five pole positions and 11 podium finishes, ran the BMW 3.0 CSL during his stint in touring car racing in ’73.
Originally built for the road, the 3.0CSL was stripped down and tightened-up for racing. Skinnier steel was used in the body, aluminium doors, bonnet and boot and Perspex side windows replaced the originals and soundproofing and luxuries were removed. An aero package was added to fill out the signature Batmobile shape and keep everything stuck to the road. The motor was bored out to take it over 3 litres, producing a lovely 340 horsepower in-line six that would launch the car to 100 kilometers an hour in under five seconds.
Amon’s greatest success in the Batmobile took place over six hours of the Nurburgring with co-driver Hans-Joachim Stuck. The pair won the 1973 German Touring Car Grand Prix, securing a one-two for the 3.0CSL with Toine Hezemans and Dieter Quester, who took a class victory at Le Mans in the same year.
Also present at the festival is a BMW M1 Procar previously raced by Prince Leopold von Bayern, who will take it out for a demonstration over the weekend of the 27th to the 29th.
Photo by Lothar Spurzem