Occasionally the M Gruppe presents Honorary Membership Certificates to individuals who were major contributors to the BMW enthusiast community, to motorsports or to the betterment of our club. We are very proud of the HMC and most honored to have these individuals in our midst.
Born and raised in Bologna (ITA) Alessandro Zanardi is as big a motorsports legend as they come, having built a successful racing career that spanned several decades and everything from kart to Formula 1. Determined as he is, the Lausitzring accident in 2001 simply meant a change of plans. Today Alex is an olympic gold medalist (London Paralympic Games 2012), has smashed Iron Man times, and has also won the 24 Hours of Daytona with BMW Motorsports in the M8 GTE (2019).
Born and raised in Denmark, Johan is a professional Racer and Precision Driving Instructor for BMW. Johan considers himself a gear head fanatic who loves being behind the wheel. He is a 3x Guinness World Record holder for the longest continuous drift in 2013, longest twin drift in 2017 and longest distance drifted in 8 hours in 2017 as well as a Pirelli World Championship winner in 2015 and third place winner in 2018.
Arslan Akhtar ( M Gruppe Brand Management Director, left), Aurora Straus, Anis Arafat (M Gruppe NJ/NY Assistant Area Director, right)
Aurora embodies a new generation of motorsports, one that is young, fresh and female. Her arrival in motorsports has broken molds, and is a promising face in BMW Motorsports. We are proud of her achievements and thrilled to have her in our midst.
Sam Posey's name and reputation have transcended time and made him a legend in the automobilistic world and BMW Motorsports in particular. Sam competed in just about every form of racing, including Can-Am, Trans-Am, World Endurance Championship, IMSA, Indy Cars, Formula 5000 and Formula 1.
After Motorsports Sam went on to become one of the most sought-out TV racing announcers. He is also an accomplished writer, painter and artist.
In 1975, Sam was recruited by the factory BMW squad to campaign the BMW 3.0 CSL coupes. This resulted in Sam, along with co-drivers Brian Redman, Allan Moffat, and Hans-Joachim Stuck winning the 1975 12 Hours of Sebring race. That win was vital in introducing BMW to the North American market and paving the way for the company's success in the US and internationally.
Sam said he had a great deal of respect for his teammates Stuck, Brian Redman and Peterson. Of Stuck, Sam recalls, “he drove like he was born in the car. (...) things like the proper racing line, ideal braking points, etc. (it all) seemed to come to him naturally".
(add Chuck Ange's interview with Sam Posey)