Two months ago we brought you news of UK’s popular TV show, Top Gear, pitting a BMW S1000RR against the new Ariel Atom V8 on their race track. Now BMW has decided to race the S1000RR against their own BMW M3 on a track. They filmed the event and put together a video called “The Chase.” It’s part movie and part advertisement with an attempt by BMW to create something viral.
The RR and the M3 were positioned at opposite ends of the track and then raced toward each other with the winner being the one to overtake the other. The RR rider was Rico Penzkofer, a motorcycle racer and team manager of Penz 13 who has competed in the FIM World Endurance Championship, Isle of Man TT and Macau Grand Prix. The M3 driver was Nico Bastian a racing driver, instructor and presenter for Sport 1 who has raced in the Porsche Carrera Cup, Seat Leon Supercopa and German MINI Challenge series.
The video is setup with the two rivals discussing their machines over dinner and then moves on to some advertising for Akrapovic, which is an official partner of BMW Motorrad Motorsport. Both machines were tuned by Akrapovic development partner a-workx. In additional to Akrapovic exhausts on both, the RR was fitted with BMW’s HP Race parts as well.
So, who wins? Take a look at the video below (also on BMW’s YouTube Channel) or skip ahead where I’ll spoil the surprise.
The acceleration of the S1000RR was too much for the M3 with Rico gaining quickly on Nico from the start. When rain moved in the bike was slowed but still managed to overtake the car by lap 15.
The video was put together by BMW Motorrad’s international advertising agency Serviceplan and directed by film director Ryan McManus. With a 45-person crew they spent just two days getting the shots. Ryan was keen to project the trackside atmosphere in the final film. “It was very exciting, you could hear and feel the engines and I wanted to get a sense of that intensity and for the power of the car and the bike. It had to be real,” he says.
Part of retaining that sense of reality was to hold and record a genuine head-to-head race between the two contenders, rather than setting up an artificial, staged situation. “We didn’t know ahead of the race who would win. Most people were saying that it would be the bike and I certainly thought that – the bike did start off really well and had a great lead, but then the rain came and it really slowed it down, so we were all wondering: will the car do it now, because the driver was pushing really hard. But the bike had gained too much ground.” Ryan says he put the motorcycle’s win down to its incredible acceleration and the advantage of a long straight on a track which was dry to start off.
A number of different techniques were used by the film crew to make sure that no moment of rivalry was missed. The car was fitted with a rig to capture the on-track action and a small GoPro wearable camera was used. “The GoPros were great to use, they give a really good effect which make it look like the car is still and the background is moving very, very fast,” Ryan explains. “To get 360-degree shots of the vehicles, a small circular camera track was built. With the car or bike in the middle, it was easy to film all the way around them in one smooth motion.”