Marcel Tiemann aims for his fifth overall win
When the ADAC Zurich 24h Race winner takes the chequered flag on Sunday afternoon at 16:00hrs, Marcel Tiemann could be the most successful driver in the history of the classic endurance-racing event: Should the 35-year old win the race with the Manthey Porsche RSR, it would be his fifth victory -- something no other driver has achieved. "It goes without saying that celebrating my fifth win would be important for me," he explains with confidence. And why shouldn't he? In the past ten years, he made it to the podium in every third race contested by him. "Tom Kristensen is the only driver to have won the Le Mans 24-Hour Race seven times," he adds, "And I would be the only driver with five Nurburgring 24h Race wins under his belt. Being a racing driver, race wins are one of the factors that are used to assess my competitiveness. The more wins the better."
Consequently, the tension is rather extreme for Tiemann who started his motor-racing career only at the age of 18. "Defeating the Audis won't be easy, he says, "But we've come to the Nurburgring to win the race. To date, he has won the event four times. The first time back in 2003 with Opel and from 2006, he celebrated three consecutive wins with Manthey-Racing entered Porsches. "Each of these races was something very special and every time we encountered incidents I won't forget." Last year, for instance, first-stint driver Marc Lieb came in for a first unscheduled pit stop at the end of lap one as the Porsche was smoking. "An incident that cost us a lot of nerves and time. Afterwards, we had to push incredibly hard at a speed that hadn't been necessary, otherwise."
A multifaceted career
During the course of his career, Tiemann has raced nearly everything that has got four wheels. He worked his way up from Fomula Konig via Formula Renault to Formula 3 and from 1997 to 1999, he competed in the FIA GT Championship for Mercedes-Benz - to then contest the 2000 DTM season for the Stuttgart based manufacturer. And Tiemann also sees his future in sports-car racing. "Here, I can make perfect use of my strengths and my experiences gathered in the past -- it's just what I love to do."