Fifty years ago, Hans Stuck and Clemens Schickentanz won the first-ever 24 Hours of the Nurburgring in a 2002 TI. To celebrate the anniversaries of both the event and BMW’s first win, BMW Motorsport is entering an M2 CS Racing in the colors of the 1970 winner with the names of the drivers in all nineteen of BMW’s wins in the race emblazoned on the sides. Dirk Adorf and Tom Coronel will share the car with German journalists Christian Gebhardt and Niki Schelle.
This year’s race, to be run on the weekend of September 25–27, will be held without spectators.
Dirk Adorf says, “The fact that we are celebrating the anniversary of both the 24-hour race and the first BMW victory, and that the nineteen 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. 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.”
Hans Stuck, who co-drove the 2002 TI to the first win, was also part of the winning team in 1998, when he co-drove with Marc Duez, Andreas Bovensiepen, and Christian Menzel in a 320d that became the first diesel car to win the race, and in 2004, when he won in an M3 GTR along with Dirk Müller, Jörg Müller, and Pedro Lamy.
Stuck says, “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. 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.”
BMW’s last overall win came in 2010 in an M3 GT2. Augusto Farfus, one of the drivers of that car, will be back in 2020 in a BMW Team Schnitzer M6 GT3.
A list of all nineteen BMW winners follows.—Brian Morgan
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,
1998: Marc Duez, Andreas Bovensiepen, Christian Menzel, Hans-Joachim Stuck,
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
[Images courtesy BMW Motorsport.]