FORMER F1 DRIVER AND 2000 ROLEX 24 CHAMPION KARL WENDLINGER JOINS SIGALSPORT BMW FOR 2007 ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA Los Angeles, December 21, 2006: Sigalsport BMW announced today that Karl Wendlinger, from Thiersee, Austria, will co-drive the...
FORMER F1 DRIVER AND 2000 ROLEX 24 CHAMPION KARL WENDLINGER JOINS SIGALSPORT BMW FOR 2007 ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA
Los Angeles, December 21, 2006: Sigalsport BMW announced today that Karl Wendlinger, from Thiersee, Austria, will co-drive the Sigalsport BMW Riley No.05 with Bill Auberlen, Matt Alhadeff and Gene Sigal at the 2007 Rolex 24 at Daytona. Karl Wendlinger, 39, drove a total of 42 F1 Grand Prix for three Formula One teams between 1991 and 1995 including, Leyton House, March and Sauber Mercedes.
Wendlinger won the prestigious Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2000 co-driving a Chrysler Viper. The same year he went on to win the two other most grueling endurance races in the world; the 12 Hours of Sebring (1st in GTS) and the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans (1st in GTS). That same year Karl and his teammate won the ALMS championship with 11 wins out of 14 races.
Karl Wendlinger won the FIA GT championship co-driving a Chrysler Viper in 1999 and finished second overall in the same championship in 1998.
"I am very pleased to join Sigalsport BMW for the upcoming 45th Rolex 24 at Daytona", announced Karl Wendlinger. "I won the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2000 and I am happy to be back to try to win again with a Daytona Prototype car and new Sigalsport teammates Matt, Bill and Gene", said Karl.
"It is a great opportunity for our team to add a former F1 driver and Daytona champion to our drivers line-up for the Rolex 24 at Daytona" stated Sigalsport BMW team owner and co-driver of the No. 05 BMW Riley, Gene Sigal. "We wanted to make sure that our partners and sponsors get the most competitive line-up for the biggest race of the year. Bill Auberlen, Matt Alhadeff, Karl Wendlinger and I will try our best to have an incident free race to finish as high as possible and score maximum points for the 2007 Rolex Series point standings", said Sigal.
Wendlinger started his career in karting and Formula Ford before entering F3 in 1988. He won the German F3 championship in 1989, which earned him a drive in a Mercedes-Benz sportscar team for 1990. Karl Wendlinger became a member of the prestigious Mercedes Junior Team that included Michael Schumacher and Heinz-Harald Frentzen. He drove the Sauber-Mercedes C11 and finished 5th overall in the World Sportscar championship that year.
In 2005 Karl co-drove the Maserati MC12 in the FIA GT with JMB Racing and in 2006 the Aston Martin DBR9 for Race Alliance Motorsports. Karl's last participation in the Rolex 24 was in 2005 with Ebimotors.