A win at the Spa 24 Hours and a first international title
In 1995 Bart ‘RBM’ Mampaey used the BMW Compact Cup, part of the Belgian circuit championship Belgian Procar, to show his skills in building and running racing cars for the first time. RBM built ten cars for the ‘race within the race’. Surprisingly, the BMW Compact Cup project was also part of Mampaey’s dissertation as a Masters student in Applied Economic Sciences. The BMW Compact hit the spot and gave plenty of young drivers – Vanina Ickx among them – the opportunity to learn the ropes at the wheel of a BMW.
At the same time RBM entered a BMW 325 TDS for the first time during the 1996 Spa 24 Hours. One year later RBM’s BMW M3 cars finished first and second in the Group N category of the Belgian endurance classic.
In 1998 BMW, Bastos and Fina trusted the young team with a one-race programme, entering a BMW 320i for the overall honours of the Spa 24 hours. After a tactical race Cudini-Van de Poele-Duez took a surprise win, the first big success for RBM.
It took until 1999 however to see the RBM logo on a race car, with a last-minute entry of two Nissan Primeras in the Spa 24 Hours. Swede Anders Olofsson and French driver Alain Cudini looked set for a second place finish, but technical issues meant that the other Nissan, with Grégoire de Mévius amongst the drivers, was the highest placed car of the team, crossing the line in fourth.
RBM was responsible for the design, development and construction of 52 cars for the MINI Challenge, together with the production of numerous MINI Challenge kits for the Belgian, Luxembourg, German and other international MINI championships.