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Allan Moffat’s win for BMW

Last week was Allan George Moffat’s 84th birthday and the Repco Garage to honour this will recall the Canadian’s time as a BMW factory driver.

Albeit brief, it was a successful campaign at the 1975 12 Hours of Sebring teaming with Brian Redman in BMW’s classic 3.0 CSL.

A last minute call up due to Ronnie Peterson being unavailable as the FIA didn’t recognise the event gave Moffat the opportunity to drive alongside American racing legend Redman, who completed much of the race estimated to be seven out of the 12 hours.

The second BMW entry was spearheaded by Hans-Joachim Stuck and Sam Posey as the German brand had elected to build a profile in the US comparable to its sports car rival Porsche.

Sebring was awakening after two years of being unused, with grass sprouting out of the runway sections of the surface. This didn’t matter as teams and spectators filled the placed out as the atmosphere was akin to a carnival.

BMW may have entered as the favourite as it made improvements since Daytona to the 3.0L CSLs including new connecting rods, Goodyears replaced Dunlops and Moffat joined the team.

Qualifying fourth out of a 68-car field, Redman and Moffat effectively outlasted the field including their teammates Stuck and Posey as the pair’s 3.0 CSL retired from the lead after low oil pressure led to bearing damage blowing the engine. Stuck and Posey each enjoyed a stint in the sole remaining BMW.

At the end of the 12 Hours of Sebring, Redman and Moffat’s BMW finished three laps ahead of a Porsche driven by George Dyer and Jacque Bienvenue marking the Bavarian marque’s first win on US soil.

The victory aided in BMW’s perception in the US as a high-performance and prestigious brand leading to its slogan, ‘the ultimate driving machine’.

Moffat of course only got the call up to race for BMW once, but it was a win and he continued to enjoy a professional motor racing career until his retirement in 1989, which included a return to the US courtesy of Mazda in 1985 for the 24 Hours of Daytona.