March 18 2011

BMW 1-series M Coupe Chosen for MotoGP Safety Car Duty

You don't have to be a fan of motorcycle racing to appreciate the safety car. And for MotoGP — the two-wheeled equivalent to Formula One — the 2011 competitors will follow none other that the new 1-series M coupe.

The specially liveried 1-M might look like a decorated production version, but it has actually undergone a weight-reduction program for its specific duties on the track. Changes include a carbon fiber hood with additional vents, a titanium exhaust and polycarbonate windows on the sides. It also gets additional aerodynamic assistance by way of an adjustable rear wing.


The chassis has been tweaked for track work as well, with an adjustable suspension with separte compression and rebound setting. The standard M3-spec front brakes have been replaced with six-piston race calipers. Larger tires are fitted to the 19-inch wheel — 255/35 up front an 285/30 in back.

Inside, the MotoGP safety car is fitted with a half-cage, racing seats, six-point harness belts and a fire extinguisher.


The 2011 MotoGP season starts this weekend with the March 20 event in Qatar, and the series will race Stateside on July 24 at Laguna Seca Raceway in Salinas, CA, and on August 28 at Indianapolis.