Out of the myriad of drivers who have raced for BMW in the past, a few names immediately rise above others. One of these legends is Hans-Joachim Stuck, the German driver being one of the first to drive the legendary BMW 3.0 CSL car, among others. He has risen to the top of the podium a number of times and his career spread over decades of fun, entertaining races. In the video below we get to see him casually narrating one of his record-breaking laps aboard the iconic E46 M3 GTR.
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The footage was recorded at the Nurburgring back in 2004. The track might seem a bit off if you know the Green Hell, because this includes the Grand Prix and the Nordschleife, which makes it a bit longer. What’s very interesting is that this was just a practice session and yet, Stuck managed to break the record on the full track with a 8:19.49. Of course, his car also helped, a lot, the BMW E46 M3 GTR being in its prime back then.
This was a preparation session for the 24-Hours of Nurburgring race, where Stuck joined forces with other iconic names like Dirk and Jorg Muller. As a matter of fact, the team which also included Portugese driver Pedro Lamy managed to win the 2004 race, beating the people from ABT-Audi in some extremely challenging weather conditions. It was the M3 GTR that truly shined back then, a car that a lot of people are dreaming about to this day.
The M3 GTR was a limited, competition-based version of the ‘regular’ M3 and was designed specifically for the track. Regulations for a car to be accepted in motorsport events back then imposed that some road-legal cars would have to be built so about three road-legal GTR cars were made by BMW. They used to cost a quarter of a million euros and they are all now part of BMW’s collection in Munich. The car had a 4-liter V8 under the hood good for 380 HP and 288 lb-ft of torque. The car had a wider track, different suspension and brakes, basically everything was changed. You can watch in action in the footage below.