Dirk Werner is a German racing driver who made his name in motorsport after winning titles in the Grand-Am Rolex Series. He was GT class champion in 2007 and 2009, both times driving Porsche 997 GT3 Cup for Farnbacher Loles Racing.
He spent seven years as BMW factory driver, participating in GT races and DTM. Currently, Werner is serving as Porsche factory driver in different competitions and endurance races.
Early career in karting championships
He was born in May 1981 in Hannover, and at the age of 10 Dirk began to race karting. He raced with a considerable success in various German and European championships. In 1996, Werner won the title in the ADAC Pop Kart Junior Championship while in the following year he was 3rd in Senior Championship and was the winner of ADAC Racing School.
The next step in his career was racing in single-seaters. In1998 he debuted in the BMW ADAC Formula Junior Championship and finished 3rd in the standings. In the following two years Werner competed in the Formula Konig Championship. After relatively modest 1999 season, Dirk did better in 2000 and finished as the series runner-up.
A champion in different touring car competitions
From 2001 to 2003 Werner raced in various touring car championships. In 2001 he was the Puma Cup Junior Championship title winner, in the following season he won the 1600cc class at Nurburgring 24 hours, as well as Puma Cup Championship title. Finally, in 2003 Werner became the DMSB Renault Clip V6 Trophy champion
Porsche Supercup was the next stop in Werner’s career. He debuted in the series in 2003 with Farnbacher Racing and immediately made an impact. Dirk finished 3rd in the standings after having five podium finishes. He stayed in the series for another season but also raced part-time in the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany.
German Carrera Cup champion in 2005
The next success in the career of German racer was a title in 2006 Porsche Carrera Cup Germany. He scored two wins that year, at Norisring and Nurburgring, and had other five podiums, finishing ahead of some well-known names like Uwe Alzen, Richard Lietz, Jan Seyffarth, etc.
Good start in endurance racing
The streak of success continued in 2007. At the beginning of the season Werner won 24h of Dubai driving sharing the seat of BMW Z4 Coupe with Dieter Quester, Philipp Peter, and Jamie Campbell-Walter. However, the biggest success was a triumph in the GT class of the Grand-Am Series. Driving Farnbacher-Loles Racing’s Porsche alongside Bryce Miller for most of the campaign, He won the race at Virginia International Raceway but they had other 9 podiums what secured the title for the Hannover-born racer.
Victory at 2007 Silverstone 24 Hours
Another good result scored in 2007 was a victory at Silverstone 24h Britcar race. The same year he appeared as a guest in the American Le Mans Series, as well as in European Le Mans Championship.
The following season wasn’t as good. Werner failed in an attempt to defend his Grand-Am title after finishing 8th overall. He also raced in the ALMS and in the ELMS, and also appeared in the VLN series. However, Dirk finished 2nd in the 2008 Porsche Cup for Porsche drivers which competed in the US that year.
Second Grand-Am GT title in 2009
The season of 2009 was one of the best so far in Dirk’s career. For the second time he won the GT title in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, again driving a Porsche for Farnbacher Loles Racing. This time, his teammate was Leh Keen.
During the 2009 season he also was 3rd at Nurburgring 24h, driving the Manthey Racing’s Porsche alongside Emmanuel Collard, Richard Lietz, and Wolf Henzler. Nevertheless, Werner also appeared in selected rounds of the American Le Mans Series, as well as in VLN.
BMW works driver since 2010
In 2010, Dirk Werner became the BMW factory pilot. However, the results weren’t impressive that year. After appearing in a couple of rounds of both ELMS and ALMS, the highlight of the year was the 3rd place at 24 Hours of Spa where he was driving a BMW M3 GT2 alongside Dirk Muller and Dirk Adorf. He also made a debut at 24 Hours of Le Mans with BMW, not finishing the race.
The results improved in the following season when Werner finished 3rd in the GT standings of the American Le Mans Series. His co-driver in the BMW Team RLL was Bill Auberlen and they played an important role in the team’s journey to the title. The same year he returned to the Spa 24h, this time as a member of Team Schubert. Driving a BMW Z4 GT3 alongside Edward Sandstrom and Claudia Hurtgen, he finished 2nd in one of the world’s most important endurance events.
Two years in DTM
A bit surprisingly, in 2012 Dirk was chosen to be one of six BMW drivers in the popular DTM championship. In his rookie season Werner did relatively well, especially in the second half of the season, and helped his Team Schnitzer to win the Teams’ Championship title.
The start of 2013 was very good for Werner who finished 2nd in the race Hockenheim but the rest of the campaign wasn’t as good. He scored points only thrice more and finished the season at the 13th position. Anyway, he helped BMW to win second consecutive Constructors’ Championship title. At the end of the season, he left the series and returned to endurance racing.
Good results in various events
In 2014, the German driver appeared in three rounds of GTLM class of the newly formed Tudor United SportsCar Championship but the results weren’t impressive. The highlight of the season again was the 24 hours race at Spa where he finished 2nd driving the Team Marc VDS’ BMW Z4 GT3 with Lucas Luhr and Markus Palttala.
The following season was somewhat better. Werner drove in the GTLM class of the United SportsCar Championship. Together with Bill Auberlen he won the races at Long Beach and Austin before finishing the season as a vice-champion, 10 points behind new champion Patrick Pilet. The best result he achieved that year was the 2nd place in the GTLM class and 5th overall at 24 Hours of Daytona where he was driving alongside Bruno Spengler, Bill Auberlen, and Augusto Farfus.
2016 - the last season with BMW
During 2016 Werner’s main occupation again was racing in the USSC but he failed to repeat the result from the previous campaign and finished the season on the 7th position, without a race win.
That year he debuted in the Blancpain GT Endurance Series, driving the Rowe Racing’s BMW M6 but the results were below expectations.
Werner rejoined Porsche as factory driver in 2017
In 2017 Werner joined Porsche GT Team in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship and had a very good start. Driving alongside Patrick Pilet and Frederic Makowiecki, he finished 2nd in the GTLM class at Daytona 24 Hours. Later in the season, Pilet and Werner won a race at Lime Rock Park and added a podium at Laguna Seca, finishing fifth in the final GTLM standungs. In June 2017, Werner also raced at Le Mans with Porsche, not finishing the race.
In 2018, Werner lost a full-time seat in the IMSA Championship but continued to race with Porsche teams in endurance races and Blancpain GT Series.