For two years, namely in 1979 and 1980, the BMW M1 drove in Europe as part of the supporting program for Formula 1. BMW had found an ingenious way to be present in the Grand Prix circus without investing enormous sums of money.
The mix of drivers guaranteed excitement at the Grand Prix weekends. The five fastest Formula 1 drivers in qualifying will each compete against a maximum of 15 private drivers. Formula 1 greats such as Nelson Piquet, Alan Jones, Carlos Reutemann, Didier Pironi and Jacques Laffite fought against privateers such as: Hans-Joachim Stuck, Marc Surer, Jan Lammers, Manfred Winkelhock, Dieter Quester, Helmut Kelleners and Hans-Georg Bürger.
The prize money per race was: Winner: U$ 5,000, 2nd U$ 3,000, 3rd U$ 1,000. In addition, each individual privateer received U$50 for each lap they managed to finish ahead of an F1 driver during the race.