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50 years of Nürburgring 24 Hours – 50 years since BMW’s first overall victory

50 years of Nürburgring 24 Hours – 50 years since BMW’s first overall victory: BMW M Motorsport honours Nordschleife history with BMW M2 CS Racing media car.
  • BMW M Motorsport honours Nordschleife history with BMW M2 CS Racing media car.

BMW M Motorsport and the Nürburgring 24 Hours (GER) are celebrating a joint anniversary this year. 2020 marks 50 years since both the inaugural staging of the endurance classic and the first overall victory for BMW in the ‘Green Hell’. As no major anniversary event is possible in the current situation, BMW M Motorsport is recognising its Nordschleife history with a BMW M2 CS Racing media car, featuring a special livery. It will bear the names of all those drivers who were involved in BMW’s 19 overall victories.

History and the future meet in the media car for the 50th anniversary of the Nürburgring 24 Hours. The design evokes memories of every past BMW victory. The blue and white livery pays homage to the first winning car in 1970 and is complemented by present-day BMW M Motorsport design elements on the bonnet. The BMW M2 CS Racing is one of the BMW M Customer Racing cars that are set to become synonymous with the future of BMW’s activities on the Nordschleife, together with the BMW M4 GT3, which is currently in its test phase, and the BMW M4 GT4. At the wheel of the BMW M2 CS Racing media car will be BMW works driver Dirk Adorf (GER) and fellow racing driver Tom Coronel (NED). They will share the cockpit with journalists Christian Gebhardt (GER) and Niki Schelle (GER).

“The fact that we are celebrating the anniversary of both the 24-hour race and the first BMW victory, and that the 19 overall wins are listed on our Media Car, shows that BMW is the brand that has shaped this event more than any other over the decades,” said Adorf. “I am happy and proud that we will compete in the BMW M2 CS Racing with a high-quality quartet, which has all the skills required to make it through the race distance in good shape. We would all much prefer for the race to be held in front of our fans, but unfortunately that is not possible this year. Hopefully, this means there will be even greater media interest, which we will take into account with our BMW M2 CS Racing media car.”

Stuck has claimed BMW victories across different eras.

The design of the media car tells the story of the 19 overall victories for BMW, from the first success at the inaugural event in 1970 to the latest win in 2010. Legendary racing driver Hans-Joachim Stuck (GER) has played a major role in this story. He has won the 24-hour race three times with BMW. He won the inaugural race in 1970 alongside Clemens Schickentanz (GER) in the BMW 2002 TI. In 1998, he was part of the crew that claimed the first overall victory on the Nordschleife by a diesel car, with the BMW 320d. In 2004, he was joined on the top step of the podium by Dirk Müller, Jörg Müller (both GER) and Pedro Lamy (POR) after their success in the BMW M3 GTR.

“I think it is fantastic that I have been able to experience several different eras of the 24-hour race together with BMW over the course of my career – from my first win in the BMW 2002 TI to a car like the BMW M3 GTR, which was state-of-the-art at the time,” said Stuck. “We were pioneers with the BMW 2002 TI. That was pure driving, without any form of driver aid. For me personally, this was my first big win and an important milestone in my career, which I rank very highly. When BMW told me in 1998 that they wanted to win the 24-hour race with a diesel, I said ‘Are you joking?’ However, the fuel consumption actually meant we were able to defeat the opposition. We were not the fastest, but we had to make far fewer pit stops. The most fun I had was in 2004 with the BMW M3 GTR. Driving that car on the Nordschleife – with its speed, all the technical driver aids and its reliability – was sensational. In my opinion, that was the best car I have ever driven at this circuit.”

Farfus: Back for another crack, ten years after winning in the BMW M3 GT2.

One of the drivers in BMW’s most recent victory, with the BMW M3 GT2 in 2010, was Augusto Farfus (BRA). Ten years later, the BMW works driver races in the BMW M6 GT3, as he looks to claim a 20th overall win for BMW. “I am very happy to have been involved in the victory with the BMW M3 GT2,” said Farfus. “Ten years later, it is about time we added another win to the list. Back then, the BMW M3 GT2 was the newest car in the field, and the car with the fewest test kilometres under its belt. Nowadays, our BMW M6 GT3 has done more kilometres of testing on the Nordschleife than all the other GT3 cars. The car and BMW Team Schnitzer have been through every conceivable situation and are really well prepared. We will do everything we can to claim the 20th victory for BMW.”

BMW’s 19 overall victories at a glance:

1970: Hans-Joachim Stuck, Clemens Schickentanz, BMW 2002 TI Koepchen

1971: Ferfried Prinz von Hohenzollern, Gerold Pankl, BMW 2002 Alpina

1972: Helmut Kelleners, Gerold Pankl, BMW 2800 CS Alpina

1973: Niki Lauda, Hans-Peter Joisten, BMW 3.0 CSL Alpina

1984: Axel Felder, Franz-Josef Bröhling, Peter Oberndorfer, BMW 635 CSi

1985: Axel Felder, Jürgen Hamelmann, Robert Walterscheid-Müller, BMW 635 CSi

1986: Markus Oestreich, Otto Rensing, Winfried Vogt, BMW 325i

1989: Emanuele Pirro, Roberto Ravaglia, Fabien Giroix, BMW M3

1990: Altfrid Heger, Joachim Winkelhock, Frank Schmickler, BMW M3

1991: Kris Nissen, Joachim Winkelhock, Armin Hahne, BMW M3

1992: Johnny Cecotto, Christian Danner, Jean-Michel Martin, Marc Duez, BMW M3

1994: Karl-Heinz Wlazik, Frank Katthöfer, Fred Rosterg, BMW M3

1995: Roberto Ravaglia, Marc Duez, Alexander Burgstaller, BMW 320i

1996: Johannes Scheid, Sabine Reck, Hans Widmann, BMW M3

1997: Johannes Scheid, Sabine Reck, Hans-Jürgen Tiemann, Peter Zakowski, BMW M3

1998: Marc Duez, Andreas Bovensiepen, Christian Menzel, Hans-Joachim Stuck, BMW 320d

2004: Pedro Lamy, Dirk Müller, Jörg Müller, Hans-Joachim Stuck, BMW M3 GTR

2005: Boris Said, Duncan Huisman, Andy Priaulx, Pedro Lamy, BMW M3 GTR

2010: Jörg Müller, Augusto Farfus, Uwe Alzen, Pedro Lamy, BMW M3 GT2