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The Cars of Nürburgring

The Return of the BMW M3 GTRs

Click here for 2004 Nürburgring race...

The consensus is that the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring in Germany is the most difficult race track in the world.

BMW M3 GTR

The northern circuit of the Nürburgring is 25.947 kilometres long and has a total of 86 turns.

click for a larger image

BMW has won the 24 hours of Nürburgring race 16 times.

BMW M3 GTR

In fact, BMW won the event 12 out of 15 times from 1984 to 1998 in machines ranging from the BMW 6 Series Coupe to the BMW M3.

Contesting the 31st edition of this endurance classic were the two BMW M3 GTRs of BMW Motorsport with more than 450 bhp.

The muscular BMW M3 GTR made its debut in 2001 in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).

BMW M3 GTR

The BMW team has Hans Stuck of Austria, Danish driver John Nielsen and Boris Said of the United Sates. At the wheel of the second BMW M3 GTR will be three Germans: Claudia Hürtgen and the two (unrelated) BMW works drivers Dirk Müller and Jörg Müller.

 

Unfortunately, in the 2003 race, due to collisions, both BMW M3 GTRs were forced to retire from the race.

The cars were running 5th and 6th before the accidents occurred.

BMW M3 GTR

Click here to visit the official site for the 24 hours of Nürburgring.

You can find more BMW racing features here.

 BMW also participates in Formula One grand prix racing.

BMW AT 24 HOUR AT NURBURGRING
March 3rd , 2003
BMW AG PRESS RELEASE
MUNICH, GERMANY

Click here for 2004 Nürburgring race...

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

BMW 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 other.

"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.

Nor 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).

BMW 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.

The 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.

The 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.

Drivers:

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 Championship.

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 to date.


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