Frank Krämer at Hockenheim in the BSR 389.


Bertram Schäfer was a former F3 driver of some note and after he retired he started a new life as an entrant running Ralts in German F3 until in 1988 he became a constructor building the KS388 at his Volkswagen Motorsport base at Birburg. Clearly Schäfer wasn’t taking any chances as he also ran a Reynard 883 alongside his own car. A new design followed for 1989 but Schäfer found that taking on the experience of the more established was too much and in 1990 his team switched to the Ralt chassis. The BSR name was derived from Bertram Schäfer Racing.


The KS388 was designed by Johann Knapp who had worked at Zakspeed, it was a conventional design with pullrods at the front and pushrods at the rear, it was powered by a Schrick tuned VW engine and used the ubiquitous Hewland gearbox. It was the first carbonfibre F3 car to be built in Germany. A series of good placings for Krämer with bests of a 2nd at Brünn and thirds at the Nurburgring (twice) and Hockenheim saw a fourth place in the German Championship.
Frank Krämer in the BSR 388.
Ellen Lohr in the BSR 389.


Obviously pleased with the success of the 1988 model Schäfer had a pair of 389s built for the 1989 Championship, this time doing the designing himself. Things got off to a good start with a somewhat fortuitous 1-2 finish at the opening round at Hockenheim but for the rest of the season his two drivers only managed two other top six finishes each. It appeared that the chassis wasn’t sufficiently stiff compared to its competitors and there was little that could be done to help matters..


A new chassis was designed and built for 1990 but Volkswagen, who were backing the team, felt that the tried and tested route was probably safer and the team switched back to runmning Ralts.



1988 388
Frank Krämer.

1989 389
Frank Krämer, Ellen Lohr, Marco Werner.

1990 389
Arnold Wagner.