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BMW Motorsport Media Information. 2013 American Le Mans Series.

#56: Dirk Müller. Profile, Career, Interview.

Born: 18th November 1975 in Burbach (DE)
Residence: Thurgau (CH)
Marital status: Married, one child
Website: www.dirk-mueller.com

Profile.

Dirk Müller is a real GT specialist, and he’s got a run of success in the discipline to match. He first sat behind the wheel of a sports car on a racetrack in 1997 and got himself noticed in the Porsche Carrera Cup – a series he won a year later. He caused quite a sensation by finishing high up in the classic endurance races in Daytona (1998 and 1999) and Le Mans (1999). He didn’t have to wait long for his first big title: Müller won the GT class of the American Le Mans Series in 2000 and became a BMW works driver the following year. He then successfully contested the ALMS with a BMW M3 GTR before making the change to touring cars in 2002. Müller won a total of 12 victories in his five seasons for Schnitzer Motorsport and only missed the European Championship title (2004) and the top place in the World Touring Car Championship (2005) by a whisker. He also kept up his winning form in endurance racing and formed part of the victorious team with Jörg Müller and Hans-Joachim Stuck (DE) in the Nürburgring 24 Hours in 2004.

Müller returned to GT racing full time in 2007 and won the FIA GT Championship title with Ferrari right away. He also consolidated his past success in the ALMS the following year and narrowly missed a second overall win. When BMW of North America was planning an ALMS comeback with a racing version of the BMW M3 in 2009, their choice of Müller for driver was almost a complete no-brainer. He repaid BMW for the trust it placed in him by coming up with some top performances: he won his second ALMS GT driver title in 2011, this time in a BMW M3 GT.

Career.


From 1989 - Karting
1991 - 3rd place ADAC Pop Karting Championship
1992 - 2nd place Formula König
1993 - 2nd place Formula König
1994 - 3rd place Formula Opel
1995 - Formula Opel European Series, Formula 3 debut race
1996 - German Formula 3 Championship
1998 - 1st place Porsche Carrera Cup
2nd place 24h race Daytona
1999 - 2nd place 24h race Daytona
2nd place GT class 24h race Le Mans
1st place GT class Petit Le Mans
2000 -  1st place GT class American Le Mans Series
2001 - 6th place GT class American Le Mans Series
2002 - 4th place FIA ETCC
Formula One tests with BMW WilliamsF1 Team
2003 - 5th place FIA ETCC
2004 - 1st place 24h race Nürburgring
2nd place FIA ETCC
2005 - 2nd place FIA WTCC
2nd place 24h race Nürburgring
2006 - 6th place FIA WTCC
2007 - 1st place GT2 class FIA GT Championship
2008 - 2nd place GT2 class American Le Mans Series
2009 - 6th place GT2 class American Le Mans Series
2010 - 7th place GT class American Le Mans Series
2011 - 1st place GT class American Le Mans Series
2012 - 4th place GT class American Le Mans Series

Interview.

Dirk, you have been moving between Europe and the US for a great number of years now. Where do you call home?


Dirk Müller: “My home is where my family is – that’s in Switzerland. I fly a great deal, and was in the US 17 times last season. I always cope well with the stress of travelling, however. I can relax really well during the flight, but I can also use the time to work so that I can be 100% there for my family when I’m home. Although I’m there so often, there’s no question of my moving to the US.”

Bearing the new BMW Z4 GTE in mind, what advantages can you bring from your experience in endurance races with the BMW Z4 GT3?


Müller: “The new car is something completely different yet again. Although the BMW Z4 GTE was developed from the basis of the GT3, its missing certain technical aides that are allowed in Europe, but that have been taken away to meet ALMS regulations. That includes ABS and DSC, two very important components. The differences will be almost as large as between the BMW M3 GT and the BMW Z4 GT3.”

New car, new team mates: what are your goals going into a season like this?

Müller: “I’m not so naïve as to assume that we’ll be able to win right from the very first race. The sheer concentration of talent in the ALMS is too high for that. But I know the team – I’ve been working very successfully with it for years – and I know what kind of performance we’re capable of. Our learning curve will be steep, and perhaps we’ll also be able to get ourselves stuck in among the top of the field by the end of the season.”