Tramalón had the opportunity to learn more about the history of the two BMW M3 E30 of Francesc Gutiérrez, Catalan rider -fast in any discipline- common in the circuits. Without a doubt, two authentic jewels that he has managed to enjoy. One of them, the one of rallies, is no longer in his power. For its part, that of “Hill Climb”, an authentic Group A, continues to delight its own and strangers.
The spectacular BMW M3 E30 from Hillclimb arrived in Spain thanks to Iñaki Goiburu in 1990. It came equipped with a 2.5 engine, with Group A specifications. The Basque made a large part of the Spanish Mountain Championship in 1990. A year later, he won the European Championship with this same unit.
In 1992, this driver had only one race with the car, Jaizkibel, which was scored for the European Championship at the time. At the very end of the event, as Francesc told us, the Catalan Xavi Riera acquired it. At that time, the former Spanish Champion had an M3 E30 stored in his garage, with which he was seen in several races in the 1990s.
Once with the two German mounts in her possession, Riera decided to transfer the mechanics of her usual M3 to the body of her new unit, the current one of our protagonist, Francesc Gutiérrez. With this car, Riera won in the CET (Spanish Tourism Championship) in 1994 and the competitions of Spain of Mountain of 1995 and 1996.
The hour of the young Catalan driver
Francesc Gutiérrez, very young at that time, ran with that car (borrowed by Riera) the CET in 1996 and 1997. In the last year he wore the Pilot decoration, the current one perfectly reproduced in the valuable car. After passing through the hands of two French drivers, Francesc Gutiérrez recovered the unit eleven years ago, with a state of mechanics traced to that of his glorious times in the circuits.
Once in its possession, it dismounted, restored and maintained it to 1997 specifications. Francesc told us the following in relation to mechanics: “it is one of the few M3 E30 that follow the regulations of Group A in Mountain, since the majority passed to the specifications of the DTM of the time”.
As far as sensations are concerned, Catalan indicates that “it is very physical to drive, without power steering, very pure”. The M3 mounts a gearbox with a very short stroke. The engine “stretches” from 5,300 turns to 9,100. “Below 5,000 rpm it doesn’t move, it just makes noise,” admits Gutiérrez. A demanding car when it comes to “taming” it, but a lot of fun.
Current specifications and plans
Counting on the above data, the car is the same of the year 1997, without any new developments, which increases its merit. To date, the apparatus offers about 348 hp at 8,600 turns. For Gutiérrez, “the value of the car is incalculable,” but it is totally consistent that it has grown exponentially in recent years.
In recent years he has been seen with him in loose races of Spanish Mountain, always making the delight of the amateurs with his driving. The idea for the coming months is to make a “thorough review” of the German beast to get it ready. The goal is to enjoy it again in 2021 as an exhibition, as you will no longer race with this device.
The other unit
It corresponds to the one worn by the late Pep Bassas at the Rallye de Cataluña in 1995 and also with which Jose Mari Ponce was Champion of Spain in 1991 (Camel decoration). With him, the canary also won Canary Island Rally of 1995. When he bought it, Bassas showed the Radiant Rally sign. After its passage, it was sold to Catalonia and then to France. Gutiérrez recovered it nine years ago. It was restored, but it also kept all the original materials.
The bodywork hadn`t been painted since then (Bassas printed them inside, not painting, for weight reasons). A 295 hp 2.3 engine car, a 6-speed Prodrive box like the one in Hillclimb (“Riera and Bassas were friends and shared material”), points out Gutiérrez. Another “amazing” car with a smaller tyre. Our protagonist made some loose runs with said saddle. There came a time when he had to get rid of one of the two, and for “sentimental” reasons Gutierrez sold of the rallye unit. Fortunately, the car has remained in the Catalan community.
A multi-faceted driver
His debut in competition came in 1989 in a Renault 5 GT Turbo, with which he gave his first kicks in competition. Before passing through the hands of the M3 E30, he participated in races of the Championship of Spain and Europe with a Sierra Cosworth or a Delta Integrale.
In 1997, he was first in the only race of the Spanish Tourism Championship. In 1998, also with another M3, he won in the 24 Hours of Barcelona. From the end of the 90s until today, the Catalan has enjoyed (with triumphs included) many cars, both in circuits and hillclimb. Specifically, as its website indicates, 67 cars in five different disciplines.
From the GT, such as Porsche GT3, Lamborghini Diablo or Mosler, to more simple mounts such as the Renault Clio or Seat Leon Copa, among many others. We also enjoyed it in Hillclimb, with cars like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX or the Mini JCW. In rallies, for his part, he was seen with a beautiful Opel Ascona in 2019.
For this season, if all goes well, Gutiérrez will aim for victory in the Spanish GT Championship with a spectacular and beautiful Ferrari 458 GT3. In 2019 they got the third place finish in the Class 1 of this contest. Instructor, organizer, driver .. But above all, a great passion for this sport.