In 1991 the British Touring Car Championship regulations changed from multi-class, 'Group A' regs to the new 2-litre formula in the hope of building up the grids and providing closer racing. It was very successful, attracting many more manufacturers and providing the competitors and viewers with some of the closest racing the series had seen in many years.
In order to comply many of the BMW teams altered their existing Group A cars with ballast and a reduction in engine capacity to two litres. This was not the case for Vic Lee Motorsport as they completely re-engineered the most successful touring car of the Group A period to fully take advantage of the new 2-litre formula regulations. The Vic Lee built BMW E30 M3s boasted a range of modifications that involved 'thinking outside of the box'. For example: the fuel tank was relocated to optimise the car's centre of gravity, a flat floor section was used as was a side exit exhaust. Although utilising BMW Motorsport's latest rear suspension components, front uprights and in-car adjustable anti-roll bars, the VLM cars also benefited from a host of geometric alterations (thanks to engineer David Potter) and also utilised a Hollinger 6-speed dog engagement gearbox, all adding up to produce the most competitive BMW and the 'car of the season' with Tim Harvey’s teammate, the legendary Will Hoy winning the 1991 championship.
This ex-Tim Harvey, Labatt’s sponsored, 1991 BMW E30 M3 is one of the five built by Vic Lee Motorsport for the '91 British Touring Car Championship. Tim took this car to one outright win in the series finale at Silverstone, and two podiums, en route to claiming 8th place in the championship by season end. Silverstone Auctions will be offering this car at their upcoming Classic Race Car Sale on 27th July, the estimated value is between £140,000 - £180,000. For more information on this and other vehicles at the sale, click on the link below. Photos courtesy of Silverstone Auctions.