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BMW gears up for the 24 Hour Race at the Nürburgring in 2003
Top-flight crew for the two BMW M3 GTRs: sextet with Hans Stuck
and Claudia Hürtgen
Motorsport will be entering the Nürburgring 24 Hour Race on 31
May/1 June with a high-calibre driver line-up. The two BMW M3 GTRs
will be piloted by Hans-Joachim Stuck (age 52/GER), Boris Said
(40/USA) and John Nielsen (47/DNK) in one car, and Jörg Müller
(33/GER), Dirk Müller (27/GER) and Claudia Hürtgen (31/GER) in the
"That means we will have, as it were, a 'youngtimer' trio and a
'youngster' trio on the grid," says BMW Motorsport Director Mario
Theissen. "The selection criteria were straightforward: it was a
matter of choosing drivers with experience of the Nürburgring
Nordschleife, the world's most challenging track, as well as
experience with GT sports cars and 24-hour events."
Apart from the two established BMW works drivers Dirk and Jörg
Müller, the other four - Hürtgen, Nielsen, Said and Stuck - have
also claimed numerous victories with BMW.
is BMW taking any chances with the racing team. The two BMW M3
GTRs, with an output of more than 400 bhp, will be fielded by BMW
Motorsport using Freilassing-based Team Schnitzer headed by Charly
Lamm. Under Lamm?s strategic direction, BMW touring cars have
already secured two overall victories in the Nürburgring 24 Hours,
as well as five triumphs in the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BEL)
and one, in 1999 with the BMW V12 LMR open-topped prototype, in
the classic Le Mans 24 Hours (FRA).
Motorsport Director Gerhard Berger sums up the team's strategy:
"We will be pitching for overall victory in this highly
traditional endurance event."
Since the inception of the 24 Hour Race on the Nürburgring in
1970, a BMW has crossed the finishing line as overall winner 16
times, most recently in 1998. That year saw a BMW 320d become the
first diesel-powered touring car to win such a marathon event.
BMW M3 GTR made its debut in the 2001 American Le Mans Series
(ALMS), claiming victory in every discipline. Jörg Müller won the
Drivers' championship, BMW Motorsport won the Team
classifications, and BMW claimed the Manufacturers' title in the
company's key export market.
four-litre V8 engine of the BMW M3 GTR delivers more than 400 bhp.
A specially developed chassis, honed aerodynamics and strategic
lightweight construction with carbon-fibre body components make
the M3 an impressive GT sports car.
Claudia Hürtgen (GER)
Born 10 September 1971 in Aachen (GER). 1989 German Pop Kart
Champion. 1991 winner Ford Fiesta Mixed Cup, runner-up Formula
Ford. 1993 serious accident Formula 3 GP Monaco. 1995 Austrian
Touring Car Champion. 1997 class victory Daytona 24 Hours. Good
placings in FIA GT Championship and American Le Mans Series
(ALMS). 2001 and 2002 German Touring Car Challenge (BMW 320i DTC)
- total five wins, 2002 overall third. 24-hour races: four starts
Daytona, three Le Mans, one Nürburgring.
Dirk Müller (GER)
Born 18 November 1975 in Burbach, Siegerland (GER). Karting from
1989. Race victories in Formula König and Formula Opel. 1996 race
win in German Formula 3 Championship. 1998 winner Porsche Carrera
Cup. 1998 and 1999 second in class Daytona 24 Hours. 1999 second
in class Le Mans 24 Hours. 2000 winner ALMS GT class. BMW works
driver since 2001. 2001 one win in the ALMS (BMW M3 GTR). 2002
three wins in the European Touring Car Championship (ETCC),
overall fourth (BMW 320i).
Jörg Müller (GER)
Born 3 September 1969 in Kerkrade (NLD). 1988 German Formula Ford
Champion. 1989 winner German Formula Opel. 1990 winner European
Formula Ford Championship. 1991 winner Formula 3 GP Monaco. 1993
winner Formula 3 GP Macau. 1994 German Formula 3 Champion. 1995
ADAC Super Touring Champion (BMW). 1996 European Formula 3000
Champion, winner Spa 24 Hours (BMW). 1997 to 1999 Formula One test
driver, inter alia for BMW. 1999 winner Sebring 12 Hours (BMW V12
LMR). 2000 two wins in the ALMS (BMW V12 LMR). 2001 winner ALMS GT
class (BMW M3 GTR). 2002 runner-up European Touring Car
Championship (ETCC), four wins (BMW 320i). 24-hour races: three
starts Le Mans and Nürburgring, one start Daytona and Spa.
John Nielsen (DNK)
Born 7 February 1956 in Varda (DNK). Karting from 1972. 1975
Danish Formula 3 Champion. 1982 German Formula 3 Champion. 1984
serious accident Formula 3 GP Monaco, winner Formula 3 GP Macau.
1985/1986 European Formula 3000 Champion. 1988 winner Daytona 24
Hours, runner-up IMSA Series. 1989 runner-up Daytona. 1990 winner
Le Mans, runner-up Daytona. 1993 GT winner Le Mans. 1995 winner
BPR Series. 1996 Japanese GT Champion. 1997/1998 race wins FIA GT
Championship and British GT Championship. 1999 sports car racing
in Japan. 2000 15th Le Mans start. 2001/2002 FIA Sports Car
Boris Said (USA)
Born 18 September 1962 in New York, N.Y. (USA). Motocross from
1974. 1989 car racing debut, victories in national GT
Championships. 1992 winner IMSA Endurance Challenge sports-class
championship. 1993 German ADAC GT Cup. 1994 races in the BPR
Series. 1994/1995 Le Mans 24 Hours. 1994 to 1996 Trans-Am Series,
one win. 1996 winner GT1 class Daytona 24 Hours. Since 1996
various GT events in the USA, incl. ALMS, 12 wins. 1999 to 2002
seven races NASCAR Winston Cup.
Hans-Joachim Stuck (GER)
Born 1 January 1951 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (GER). 1970 winner
Nürburgring 24 Hours (BMW 2002ti). 1972 winner Spa 24 Hours,
German Racing Champion. 1974 runner-up European Formula 2
Championship (March BMW). Total 74 Formula One GPs. 1979 winner
Procar Series (BMW). 1985 World Sports Car Champion. 1986
runner-up World Sports Car Championship, winner Le Mans and
Sebring. 1987 second Le Mans victory (total 18 Le Mans starts to
1998). 1988 winner Sebring 12 Hours. 1990 German Touring Car
Champion. 1993 winner IMSA Supercar Series. 1998 winner
Nürburgring 24 Hours (BMW 320d). 1999/2000 ALMS class wins (BMW M3
GT). 2001 ALMS class wins (BMW M3 GTR). 50 starts in 24-hour races