Alexander Wurz announces retirement
Alexander Wurz (41), former F1 driver, two times winner of 24 Hours of Le Mans (1996 and 2009) and current Toyota Racing’s endurance driver, announces retirement at the end of 2015 season. He will race one more time with Toyota TS040 Hybrid at WEC season’s finale at Bahrain on November 21.
Wurz was the first driver signed by Toyota in 2011 when its entry into World Endurance Championship was confirmed. He delivered the team its first pole position and victory in Brazil in 2012. His biggest success with Japanese manufacturer followed at the end of 2012 WEC season, he finished third overall. Prior to the 2015 season-ending Bahrain round, Alex has taken part in 27 WEC races for Toyota, winning five and finishing on the podium a total of 11 times.
Toshio Sato, Team President, said: “Alex has been a fundamental part of our team since the very beginning, in 2011. We have enjoyed some fantastic moments together; I know everyone in the team will remember that first victory in Sao Paulo for a long, long time. I would like to sincerely thank him for his contribution to our WEC project; his technical input, motivation and ability have been invaluable to us. Whilst it is sad to see such a respected and successful driver step away from racing, we wish Alex all the very best for the future.”
Before he joined Toyota Alex Wurz recorded 69 Formula One races with three teams, scoring three podiums and 45 championship points. He debuted with Benetton at 1997 Canadian GP and racing for team four seasons. From 2001 to 2005 he was McLaren’s test driver, with only one race (3rd place finish at 2005 San Marino GP). He ended his F1 career after two seasons (2006 and 2007) with Williams. His best F1 season was 1998 with Benetton, when he finished 8th in the championship.
From 2008 to 2011 he was Peugeot’s factory driver at Le Mans and other endurance races, with best result winning 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2009. He won Le Mans also back in 1996. That season he was Opel Team Joest’s driver in FIA International Touring Car Championship and he joined Davy Jones and Manuel Reuter in Joest Racing’s TWR Porsche WSC-95 at endurance classic. They won ahead two Porsche factory 911 GT1s.
Wurz started racing career in 1991 with European and Austrian Formula Ford competition. Next steps were Austrian Formula 3 (1st in 1993) and German Formula 3 from 1993 do 1995. So, after more than 25 years of racing impressive career came to the end.
Here’s the complete overview of Wurz’s career.