When over 200 cars pit themselves against the challenges posed by the one winding 25.378-kilometre track that every motorsport fan knows, it will be time again for the annual 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. BMW Motorsport will be competing with two BMW M3 GT2 cars at the 38th running of this endurance classic, which starts at 15:00hrs (CET) on 15th May 2010.
After the triumphant, back-to-back one-twos in 2004 and 2005, Team BMW Motorsport is returning to the Nordschleife to add a new chapter to the brand’s success story at this iconic event.
BMW has good memories of this event. 18 of the 37 races so far in the Eifel Mountains have been won by BMW drivers. The brand has even celebrated one-twos on eight occasions. BMW not only tops the list of overall winners, but also class victories, with 122 triumphs to its name in the various categories.
In 1970, BMW was the first entry in the winners’ list at the Nürburgring 24 Hours, when Clemens Schickentanz (DE) and the young Hans-Joachim Stuck triumphed in a BMW 2002 ti. In 1998, Andreas Bovensiepen (DE), Marc Duez (BE), Christian Menzel (DE) and Stuck achieved the first victory for a car with a diesel engine: the BMW 320d. Pedro Lamy(PT), Duncan Huisman (NL), Boris Said (US) and Andy Priaulx (GB) claimed the most recent overall victory for BMW in their BMW M3 GTR in 2005.
A glance at the records shows that one BMW victory seldom comes alone. The latest run of victories consisted of two in a row (2004/2005), while the longest sequence lasted five years (1994-1998). From 1989 to 1998 BMW won nine out of the ten 24-hour races held in the Eifel Mountains. Only Porsche managed to interrupt this run in 1993. The BMW brand’s greatest dominance dates back to 1970 and 1971. In these two years, four of the best five cars bore the BMW logo.
Of the eight Team BMW Motorsport drivers at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife this year, Pedro Lamy currently has the most victories to his name. The old hand has been a member of the winning team four times, putting him in second place in the all-time best list. Jörg Müller (DE), Dirk Müller (DE), Andy Priaulx and Uwe Alzen (DE) have all climbed to the top of the podium once at the 24-hour race.