Service Parts Restorations Engine/Trans/Diff Racing About Us Contact Home
Korman Autoworks, Inc. is oldest, most experienced and successful BMW tuning firm in the United States.  "If you are going to prepare and race BMW's there 
is just one place to turn." Sports Car Illustrated, Sept. 1988."We chose Ray Korman to run the M3...more for his expertise in new car development, especially 
BMW development. That's his real forte."  Erik Wensberg, BMW North America Motorsports Manager, Roundel, May 1988. 
Owner Ray Korman has competed in BMW sedan racing since his purchase in 1964 of one of the first BMW 1800 Ti sedans sold in the 
United States.  In his first professional racing he won two national championships in S.E.Asia, first in his 1800 TISA, then in an FIA 
Group 5 2002 sponsored by Yontrakit Motors in Bangkok. 
  

4_Bangkok_1800TISA.jpg (106402 bytes)

SCCA_GT2_Champion.jpg (96850 bytes)
Returning to the U.S. in the early 70's he prepared his own 2002 and 320i for the IMSA Racing Stock Sedan Series. His most 
notable win was the IMSA El Inter-Americano 3 Hour Race at Daytona.  With entries from both North and South America the
rules favored front wheel drive cars. The surprise win of the independently entered six year old 320i over the new factory backed 
front wheel drive cars was a major upset.  In 1982 he won the SCCA S.E. Division Championship in his GT-2 BMW 320i.
 
Within the very competitive format of the IMSA Firehawk Endurance Series, Korman's years of sedan racing established him as one 
ofthe foremost drivers and builders. He is one of the series top all-time race winners with seven victories.  In 1986 he won every other 
race of the year.  The Korman BMW 325e won both the Driver and Manufacturers Championships, and won first overall in the Watkins 
Glen 24 Hour Race. The Director of BMW Motorsport GmbH, Munich, Wolfgang Peter Flohr, wired a message of congratulations 
saying "The headline, 'Korman's BMW Wins 24 Hour Race is for BMW Motorsports GmbH a highlight which we tried to achieve in the
United Statesfor years and which goes without saying to your account only." 
 

325WatkinsGlen.jpg (29586 bytes)

M3Portland.gif (83711 bytes)
In 1987, under contract with BMW North America, Korman raced a pair of BMW M3 Sport Sedans, chassis numbers 001 and 002.  In 
their first season the "M-Team" scored a historic victory in the IMSA Watkins Glen 500 Mile Race, the first time in the four year history 
of the Series that a team finished one-two, also setting a new qualifying lap record and fastest race lap record.  Korman Autoworks
prepared BMW's have scored 26 top three finishes in the IMSA Firehawk Endurance Series, including two 24 hour race victories.
Korman's success on the race track has grown along with the success and expansion of Korman Autoworks, Inc.  Specializing in 
BMW cars, the firm has three divisions, Mail Order Parts, Service and Competition, all housed in an impressive facility.  The 
Competition Division has built many successful race cars for customers around the world, as well as engines, suspension systems, 
etc.  Many BMW race cars seen with other team/shop names on them were actually prepared by Korman Autoworks.  Korman 
prepared race cars have also won overseas national championships in Puerto Rico, Bolivia, Argentina, Australia, Columbia, and New 
Zealand.  Following training at Heidegger AG in Liechtenstein,the competition department also builds BMW F2 and M1 engines. 
Competition research is supported byKorman's in-house engine dyno facility and flow bench test equipment.  The Mail Order Division 
ships high performance BMW parts and Accessories throughout the world from their large, fully computerized warehouse.   

4A_Korman_Autoworks_1989.jpg (124761 bytes)

 
The Service Department is a Bosch Authorized Service Center, providing access to Bosch factory training, test equipment, service 
information, and Bosch National Warranty Services.  Customers drive or have their cars shipped in from all over the U.S. for maintenance, 
repairs, performance upgrades, mechanical restorations and complete restorations.

 

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.

 prndlcvr50.jpg (27693 bytes)

 

 

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.

 

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. 

 

In 1997, Korman's Racing efforts focused on the IMSA Sports Class Endurance Championship with the Korman built TWC Motorsports 2 car BMW
328iS team.  After breaking lap records at Watkins Glen and putting the car in the lead, the team withdrew as the series dissolved in the sale and 
reorganization of SportsCar.

 

NHIS_First_Over-all_1997.jpg (119219 bytes)

E36_M3_281.jpg (178874 bytes)

Noting the rapid growth of the BMW CCA Club Racing program Ray took one of the SportsCar/Motorola Cup BMW 
328iS race cars prepared by Korman Autoworks to the 1997 BMW CCA Octoberfest races at New Hampshire 
International Speedway where he shocked some of the northeast tuners by winning the pole for both races, turning 
laps quicker than the M3 Lightweights and most of the Modified class cars.
 
In 1998 Ray converted his street 1993 BMW 325iS to M3 specs and won the BMW CCA Club Racing National 
Championship in the I Prepared class, with first place victories at Sebring, Savannah, Road Atlanta, Mid Ohio, and 
Lime Rock Park.  He also co-drove a Korman prepared Motorola Cup car for On The Pole Racing Team, breaking 
the lap record at the rough, high speed, Mosport,Canada circuit.
The year 2000 was a great year for Korman Autoworks and customers.  Howie Liebengood won the international Motorola Cup Championship in his Korman built E36 328 with victories in both the US and Canada.  The Korman prep and Howie’s driving also won the Manufactures Championship for BMW.  In just six race weekends, Ray Korman tallied up 10 first place wins in BMW Club Racing H-Prepared class and won First Overall four times against “faster” modified entries.

 Motorola_Cup_Champion_2000.jpg (121053 bytes)

Lou_M__D_Mod_W_Glen.jpg (95106 bytes) Customer successes continued with Lou Mendola’s D Modified North Atlantic BMW CCA Championship in his Korman built E21 323 brought up to 2.9 liters.  Scott Casagrande garnered more Korman prepped wins with championships in K Prepared in  2004 and 2005.  In 2005, Ray Korman co-driving with Lou Mendola won another South Atlantic D Mod Championship.

In 2006, business workloads limited racing, but in 2007 with just a five weekend schedule, Ray again won the South Atlantic D Modified Championship in Lou Mendola’s 1992 325 and finished 2nd out of 65 cars in the BMW CCA National Championship.

Korman_D_Mod_at_07_Ofest_Race.jpg (59520 bytes)

Korman’s long history of racing BMW’s puts them in a strong and familiar position for preparing BMWs for vintage racing.  Korman  prepared BMW 2002s win regularly as far off as Australia, New Zealand, and Argentina.  In fact, Korman’s Argentina customer is so pleased with his Korman engine, he has twice flown Ray to Argentina to co-drive in the annual 500km of Buenos Aires. 

 

© Korman Autoworks, Inc. 2629 Randleman Rd. Greensboro, NC USA 27406