Legendary race-car drivers Brian Redman, Hurley Haywood, Elliott Forbes-Robinson, David Donahue, and Tommy Milner, Jr., were all on hand for the Savannah Speed Classic at the Hutchinson Island Grand Prix Track last weekend. Larry Koch of BMW North America invited these drivers to attend, and reunited them with their former championship cars at the event. Motorsports fans in attendance felt honored by their presence, and were thrilled to ride shotgun with these legends during the charity rides.
Redman and Milner took turns piloting the 2001 M3 GTR, the famous IMSA GT2 car. During the charity rides, the GT2 M3 routinely reached speeds in 140-mph range. Other drivers who were reunited with their cars included David Donohue, with his 1984 M5 IMSA supercar; Brian Redman, with his famed 1975 3.0CSL; and Elliott Forbes-Robinson, with the 1996 IMSA GT2 M3.
On Saturday and Sunday, all of the drivers participated in a lively panel discussion, hosted by Larry Koch, and aptly named the “Stars of American Racing.” Each driver shared rich tales of their racing history, including stories of their favorite tracks and cars.
The Savannah Speed Classic marked the last BMW event for Larry Koch of BMW North America. Larry will be retiring at the end of this week, after spending nearly 28 years at NA serving in many capacities—most recently the Head of the Motorsports division. Larry was also the BMW CCA liaison for 14 years, facilitating many opportunities for our Club members to experience BMW’s historic fleet of race cars, as well as providing funds for our corrals over the years. Everyone at the Club wishes him well in his future endeavors, and we hope to enjoy his company as a member at future Club events.
In addition to the charity rides and vintage races, a strong field of BMW Club Racers participated in several exclusive races throughout the weekend. Robert Chang took the top spot on the podium Saturday in his E46.
Six lucky members of the Boys and Girls Club of Bluffton enjoyed charity rides in the BMW Performance Center’s new F10 M5 vehicles, driven by Mike Renner and Donnie Isley. They were also treated to a private tour of the Rahal-Letterman-Langham race truck by Larry Koch himself. These students worked hard throughout the event, directing traffic, and attendees in the hot sun, and certainly earned this opportunity. Special thanks go to Carolyn Vanagel, President of the Hilton Head Motoring Festival, and her staff, for their generosity and assistance in making this opportunity available to this group. —Jackie Bechek