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Steve Soper, Thomas Bscher, Bill Auberlen BMW V12 LM
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Special feature

The lesser-remembered sportscar exploits of BMW's two-trick pony

Steve Soper is so famous for his forays in touring cars that his sportscar achievements are often overlooked. But as the versatile Briton explained for a special feature commemorating 50 years of BMW's Motorsport division earlier this year, he preferred the cars.

Steve Soper, touring car legend. There’s no disputing that such an accolade sits nicely alongside the Briton’s name. Yet ask the man himself to name the favourite racing cars from his 12-year stint with BMW, and he picks a couple of machines that most definitely aren’t tin-tops. One of them wasn’t even a BMW and the other didn’t have a roof!

Soper goes for the BMW-powered McLaren F1 GTR, the long-tail car he raced for his long-term employer with Schnitzer in the 1997 FIA GT Championship and at the Le Mans 24 Hours, and the V12 LMR LMP prototype. He didn’t get to race the latter at Le Mans in 1999, but did over the second half of the American Le Mans Series. He was a race winner in both machines, and might well have won the FIA GT title with team-mate JJ Lehto in a different – and fairer – set of circumstances.

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