John Bowie drives Greg Murphy through the Isis during the 2003 Bathurst 24 Hours race. Pic: an1images.com/Dirk Kleinsmith

The extremely rare V8-powered BMW M3 GTR that competed in the 2003 Bathurst 24 Hour race has been put up for sale.

Manufactured in 2001, it was the last of five E46 GTRs produced by Tom Milner’s Prototype Technology Group (PTG) on behalf of BMW North America for use in the Grand Am Series.

The BMW M3 E46 GTR V8 as it stands today. Pic: Nico French Media

While the first three used the M3’s inline-six engine, class rules allowing engine swaps within the brand’s range meant that the last two cars included the M5-sourced 4.9-liter V8 (S62B50).

This car was dispatched by Aasco/Boduck Racing at the closing day of the 2001 Daytona 3-Hour Grand Am season and the following year’s 24 Hours of Daytona and Grand Am 400 at California Speedway.

Pic: Nico French Media

It was then bought by Australian-based Indonesian businessman Maher Al-Qadri for the 2003 PHR Scuderia attack on Bathurst 24 Hours, co-led by John Poe, Neil Crompton, Greg Crick and Al-Qadri.

The car was touted ahead of the race as the Holden Monaros’ biggest threat in the second and what proved to be the final run of the Bathurst Enduro twice-on-the-clock race.

Pic: Nico French Media

However, it didn’t arrive from California until just two weeks after the November 22-23 race, leaving the team nearly a month behind its intended preparation schedule.

With the limited pre-event track running in Australia, the car had several teething issues throughout the weekend in Bathurst.

Pic: Nico French Media

That didn’t stop the regular Bowe from putting the car third on the grid, even though his best set of 2:17.6832 in the overnight qualifying session was four seconds slower than the cornering Holden!

BMW’s turbulent race ended abruptly at 9:30pm when friction between Al Ghadry and Peter Brock, winner of race #05 Monaro at the top of the mountain, put BMW into a wall.

The 2003 Bathurst 24 Hour was the last race for this car. Pic: an1images.com/Dirk Kleinsmith

It was a disappointing result for everyone involved including Crompton, whose event marks the return of racing after retiring from V8 Supercar duties at the end of the previous year.

Crompton recalls in his new book The Best Seat in the House, Now available in the V8 Sleuth library.

Bowe is at the wheel during the early stages of the race. Pic: an1images.com./Andrew Hall

“Unfortunately, I got a call in the middle of the night not to bother getting back on the track for my next assignment. Mahir got tangled up with someone at the track and the car was damaged, so we all sleep!”

At the time, PHR team manager Terry Little was furious with Brock over the accident and estimated the damage at $100,000.

The car race ended in the dark. Pic: an1images.com/Dirk Kleinsmith

“Brock was driving like crazy, and I wasn’t too impressed,” Little said. Motorsports news.

“There’s no need for that – a 24 hour race is a race with slower cars, and winning three or four laps doesn’t seem necessary.”

Pic: Nico French Media

According to its listing through YTG, the car was pulled from competition after the Bathurst 24 Hour event and placed in a private collection.

It was announced along with a comprehensive parts package with no price included.


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