Mister BMW: Ray Korman’s Enduring Relationship with the BMW Marque and the BMW Car Club of America
Ray Korman’s long association with the BMW marque has made him popular within the BMW Car Club of America. He instructs often in both local and national BMW driving schools, is a frequent speaker at BMW Club Dinners throughout the U.S. and was named “Mister BMW” in the BMW CCA national monthly Roundel magazine that featured a color front page photo and a six-page article. Ray Korman and Korman Autoworks have also received national publicity in Sports Car Illustrated, Import Car Magazine, the New York Times, as well as in various automobile racing publications, BMW Club Magazines, and various track race programs. BMW NA produced full color posters of the Korman 325 and M3 wins which were distributed to BMW Dealers throughout North America.
Conquering the Racing World with the E30 M3
In 1991 Korman’s competition efforts focused on preparation of an E30 M3 for racing in South America, sponsored by Esso and Autogermana S.A. Racing against entries prepared in the U.S., South America, and Europe, the Korman prepared M3 won four out of five regular season races and astonished all with an overwhelming victory in the 6 Horas de Bogota, El Mans Suramericano. In 1992 the Korman prepared Autogermana M3 again won the Six Hour race making history as the only car to win this event twice, much less in two years consecutively. This series demonstrated that Korman was not only the dominant BMW Tuner in North and South America, but that they could win against European factory prepared entries as well.
Racing Triumphs and Innovations: Korman Autoworks’ Journey with BMW in the 1990s
The primary competition R&D program for Korman Autoworks in 1993 was to develop the BMW 325iS for the SCCA IT series. The new model was an immediate front runner, overturning the previous dominance of the Nissan Z cars. The BMW won all but one race of the season, breaking lap records everywhere, and ran away with the Mid Atlantic SCCA ITS Championship!
In 1994-1996 Korman focused on research and development of the new BMW E36 series cars, the M3, 325, 328, and 318Ti. They built cars and motors for several teams. Customers broke lap records and gained podium positions with Korman products. In the hotly contested IMSA Endurance Series, it was a Korman engine and suspension in the Team Purple M3 that broke the lap record and won the pole in the July 1996 Sears Point race. In the Ford and Pontiac V8 dominated Grand Sports class, this was the first pole position for an E36 M3.
In December 1996, Ray was appointed to the Professional SportsCar Racing Endurance Championship Entrant Advisory Board (formerly IMSA). This appointment was made based on his years of successful experience in this race series.