When the 2011 MotoGP season kicks off in Qatar this weekend, a specially prepared BMW 1 Series M Coupe will follow the field.
With 340hp from its twin-turbo 3.0L motor, the car will follow the riders on the opening lap, in case of injury. It will also be deployed in the race if organizers feel rider safety is at risk.
Precise details are limited at present, but the car has optimized aerodynamics to help with the high track speeds, including a front splitter, trunk spoiler and large rear wing to increase downforce for the 19" wheels. These will wear wide 255/35 front and 285/30 rear Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires to ensure it can fully exploit the extra aerodynamic grip.
The car also gets KW motorsport suspension, adjustable for bump and rebound, as well as height adjustable to suit different conditions. Furthermore, the 1 M's substantial braking system has been replaced with six-piston racing calipers and large drilled rotors.
The 1 M will have a carbon fiber hood with extra large vents, as well as polycarbonate windows to reduce overall weight.
A lightweight titanium racing exhaust from Akrapovic not only saves weight but also provides for an impressive sound for the audience.
In addition to the car's standard safety equipment, a rollcage has been bolted behind the B-pillar, necessitating the removal of the rear seats. The occupants will sit in two Recaro bucket seats, secured by six-point harnesses. They will carry first extinguishers to assist with an emergencies they may encounter.
This season, in addition to the official BMW 1 Series Coupe M Safety Car, there will be two more vehicles from BMW M GmbH at every track - a BMW X6 M and a M3 that will be used as back-up safety cars.
What's more, a BMW X5 M will be provided for the Safety Officer, as well as a BMW X6 ActiveHybrid for the stewards. A BMW 535i Touring will be used as the official Medical Car, while BMW will bring S 1000 RR and HP2 Sport Safety Bikes to every race, made available to the track officials.