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    For its 17th Art Car BMW really went back to where it all started and entered an M3 GT2 at Le Mans complete with Jeff Koons’ arresting livery

    The first three BMW Art Cars all cut their teeth at Le Mans and for the 17th Art Car BMW returned to the track in 2010 with the E92 M3 GT2. It had high hopes for the car as it arrived on the back of a win at the 2010 Nürburgring 24 Hour race and to ensure there was plenty of interest in BMW’s first return to La Sarthe BMW decided to commission Jeff Koons to add his quirky style to the car.

    It was officially unveiled at the Pompidou Centre in Paris with a suitable level of razzmatazz and while the car might have been generating plenty of interest off the track it wasn’t quite so impressive on it. Two M3 GT2s were entered, one in the traditional BMW livery (number 78) and the Koons’ Art Car, number 79, its number chosen as a tribute to the Warhol M1 that had raced at Le Mans ‘79. At the qualifying event the two BMWs came sixth (78) and 11th (79) in class.

    Jeff Koons, is one of the most celebrated artists of our time, and was born in York, Pennsylvania, in 1955. Koons’ work has been exhibited internationally and is in numerous public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Whitney Museum of American, the Guggenheim Museum (both in New York) and The National Gallery in Washington, DC.

    As part of his creative process, the artist collected images of race cars, related graphics, vibrant colours, speed and explosions. The resulting artwork of bright colours conceived by Koons is evocative of power, motion and bursting energy. With its silver interior along with the powerful exterior design, the Art Car imparts a dynamic appearance even when it’s standing still. “These race cars are like life, they are powerful and there is a lot of energy,” said Koons. “You can participate with it, add to it and let yourself transcend with its energy. There is a lot of power under that hood and I want to let my ideas transcend with the car – it’s really to connect with that power.”

    In the event the Art Car didn’t have a great race, making contact with another competitor and having several mechanical maladies. The final ignominy came as Andy Priaulx approached the Indianapolis curve at around the five hour mark when the M3 ran out of fuel – either the consumption was higher than expected or not enough fuel had been added at the previous pit stop. Either way, the car’s race was done. The number 78 car battled on to the end, eventually finishing sixth in class.
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