The year 2022 marks the 24th year that BMW has had the honor of supplying the official car of MotoGP, and the 50th anniversary of the founding of BMW M. To celebrate the occasion, BMW is upping the ante in regard to its latest MotoGP safety car, this time selecting the BMW M2 CS Racing—a legitimate race car that competes on circuits worldwide—upon which to bestow the honor. BMW has been a partner of MotoGP since 1999, and the array of safety and medical cars chosen from the BMW lineup over the past few decades is impressive. The M2 CS Racing MotoGP safety car will be supported by the likes of the current lineup, including the M5 CS, M4, M8 Competition Gran Coupé, X5 M Competition medical car, and two M 1000 RR safety bikes. The BMW i4 M50 will continue to be the official car of MotoGP, and the safety car used in the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup, a support series for MotoGP that uses electric motorcycles.
“M stands for Motorsport – something we are underlining with the new BMW M2 CS Racing MotoGP™ Safety Car,” said Frank van Meel, CEO of BMW M GmbH. “BMW M GmbH combines high-performance production automobiles and motorsport under one roof. It is for this reason that we selected a race car from our BMW M Motorsport range to be the new MotoGP™ Safety Car – an appropriate choice to mark the 50th anniversary. The BMW M2 CS Racing has been successful in a wide range of championships – and, as a thoroughbred race car, is perfectly suited to leading the field as the safety car in the pinnacle of motorcycle racing. We are looking forward to our 24th season as ‘Official Car of MotoGP™’ and to seeing the BMW M2 CS Racing in action as a safety car for the first time in Qatar.”
Introduced in 2019, the BMW M2 CS Racing follows up on the success of other factory race cars including the M235i Racing and the M240i Racing, which it succeeded and replaced. Used in motorsport competition around the world, the M2 CS Racing is likely BMW’s most popular customer race car, and is the subject of multiple national and international one-make cups. Standard equipment includes ABS and DSC, along with a mechanical limited-slip differential which is connected to the transmission by way of a carbon-fiber driveshaft. The roof is also made of carbon-fiber, but the M2 CS Racing didn’t require much in the way of modifications for it to become a safety car, with most of the work concentrated on adding a light bar to the roof and additional lights to the front end. The M2 CS Racing develops up to 450 horsepower, and the MotoGP safety car version is adorned with a livery celebrating the 50th anniversary of BMW M, along with matching vintage motorsport roundels.
“BMW M has been our partner since 1999 and, over the course of this long-term collaboration, has always thrilled us with new highlights,” added Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of MotoGP™ rights holder Dorna Sports. “With a safety car based on a real race car, BMW M is once again setting new benchmarks this year. The BMW M2 CS Racing MotoGP™ Safety Car shows how deeply rooted BMW M is in motorsport. It is also more proof of just how intensively BMW M GmbH brings its passion for motorsport to play in our partnership. We would like to congratulate BMW M on its 50th anniversary and are looking forward to an exciting new season together.”
The 2022 MotoGP season commences on March 6 with the Grand Prix of Qatar, where the M2 CS Racing safety car will make its first appearance. The M2 CS Racing safety car joins the likes of other unique and rare BMW models which have served as MotoGP safety cars, including the Z8, Z4 M coupe, 1 Series M Coupe, and various others.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]