Walkinshaw on his way to victory in the inagrual Silverstone 6hrs in 1976.
Photo: Peter Collins
While I have had a long reputation of driving with BMW, I have no hesitation about the greatest racecar I ever drove. It has to be the 3.5-liter BMW CSL Group 5 car. It was simply fantastic to drive giving around 500-hp, so it was very fast and had a lot of power. This was the car with the huge wing on the rear. It looked fast as well as being fast, a real monster. I’m sure some of the opposition drivers were in awe of the size and presence of the car just sitting in the paddock. For many fans, they just loved to see it. It was very successful too, so not just looks alone. I was pleased to win at the Nürburgring with Albrecht Krebs, and in my home country Austria, at the Österreichring—both in World Championship of Makes races. At my home race I shared the car with Gunnar Nilsson, who sadly died very young of cancer, he was a great driver. In the same series that year, I shared the car with a number of other drivers, including those I’ve mentioned together with Brian Redman and Ronnie Peterson.
I’m pleased to say that I’ve had a great career in motor racing, although as a teenager I was competing in speedboats. I was quite good, winning the European championship in 1958 and 1962. Then it was motor bikes before I really got hooked on to four wheels, winning the Austrian Touring Car Championship very early on. BMW came into my life after that, and I have been with them for most of my racing career, starting as a works driver in 1967. Initially, I drove in the junior divisions of the Touring Car Championships before progressing into the senior category. Open-wheeled racing came in Formula Two, but BMW withdrew at the end of 1970—although the car was much better than the 1969 car. I had one win at Hockenheim, where I beat Clay Regazzoni after a great dice for most of the race.
Become a Member & Get Ad-Free Access To This Article (& About 6,000+ More)
Access to the full article is limited to paid subscribers only. Our membership removes most ads, lets you enjoy unlimited access to all our premium content, and offers you awesome discounts on partner products. Enjoy our premium content.