Marcel Tiemann is a German racing driver mostly known as the five-time winner of the 24 hours of Nürburgring race at Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit, which puts him on the top of the N24 winner's list, together with Timo Bernhard and Pedro Lamy. Tiemann scored four consecutive N24 victories from 2006 to 2009 driving Manthey Racing's Porsche 911 GT3 and one victory (in 2003) with Phoenix Racing's Opel Astra V8 Coupe.
Earlier in a career, Tiemann was the 1994 German Formula Renault champion. He was also factory driver for Mercedes and Opel in different competitions, including DTM, FIA GT Championship and 24h Le Mans. His career ended after a heavy crash in the International GT Open race at Imola in 2010.
Marcel's father is also Nürburgring 24h winner
Marcel Tiemann was born on March 19, 1974, in Hamburg. His father is Hans-Jürgen Tiemann, an owner of the Germany's greatest amusement park Heide Park. Hans-Jürgen Tiemann was also involved in motorsport, first as a sponsor and then as an occasional racer. He won 24 hours of Nürburgring two times, in 1997 with Scheid Motorsport's BMW M3 and in 1999 with Zakspeed's Chrysler Viper GTS-R.
Formula Renault champion in 1994
Marcel started his racing career in 1992, entering the Formula König and the ADAC Formula Junior. In 1993, he switched to Formula Renault, becoming the German champion in 1994. The next two seasons Marcel spent in the Formula 3. In 1995, he was driving Fiat-powered Dallara or Elf Zakspeed team, finishing 13th in the points.
In 1996, Tiemann joined Opel Team BSR and finished fourth in the German F3 Championship. The highlight of the season was Tiemann's victory at non-championship Formula 3 Monaco Grand Prix, ahead of Tom Coronel and Arnd Meier.
Mercedes factory driver since 1997
In 1997, Tiemann joined Mercedes AMG factory team to compete in the FIA GT Championship. For most of the season, he was sharing the #10 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR with Alessandro Nannini. They won the race at Suzuka and added four more podiums to finish fifth in the final standings. Their co-driver at Suzuka was Bernd Schneider, who was a champion that year.
In 1998, Tiemann was driving the #12 CLK GTR for Persson Motorsport, sharing a car with Jean-Marc Gounon. Scoring one podium, Tiemann finished 6th in the points.
Unsuccessful attempt at 1999 Le Mans 24h
In 1999, Tiemann supposed to race with Mercedes-Benz CLR at 24 hours of Le Mans, together with Mark Webber and Jean-Marc Gounon in the #4 car. But, that event was marked by multiple accidents with Mercedes CLRs which went airborne.
Webber crashed twice during qualifying and warm-up session, so the #4 car was withdrawn before the race. During the race, the #5 car also flew off the track so the team also withdrew the remaining #6 car. It remained Tiemann's only Le Mans attempt in a career.
Racing with Mercedes in the DTM
In 2000, Tiemann entered the DTM with Persson Motorsport, driving the #18 AMG-Mercedes CLK-DTM. He spent a full season in the competition, scoring fifth place as the best result three times. He finished 10th in the final standings.
In the 2001 DTM season, Tiemann participated in three rounds with Manthey Racing's Mercedes as a replacement for Bernd Maylander, scoring podiums in both qualifying and main race at Norisring. In 2002, Tiemann had only one DTM appearance in the season-opening round at Hockenheimring, finishing 15th with Manthey's Mercedes.
Runner-up in the 2001 V8Star Series
In 2001, Tiemann's main competition was the inaugural season of the V8Star Series, where he was driving the #99 car for Zakspeed Motorsport. He won the last race at Oschersleben, finishing as a championship runner-up, sharing the second place with Roland Asch, behind Johnny Cecotto.
In 2002, Tiemann entered Porsche Michelin Supercup, driving Porsche 911 GT3 for Manthey Racing. Without wins or podiums, he finished 12th in the points.
First victory at Nürburgring's 24-hour race with Opel
In 2003, Tiemann joined another German manufacturer as a factory driver, becoming test driver and development driver for Opel. While working on a development of the Opel Vectra DTM car, Tiemann participated for the first time at 24 hours of Nürburgring, the race which his father had won two times. He was a part of Phoenix Racing's crew in the Opel Astra V8 Coupe DTM car, fighting against similar V8 entries from Audi and BMW.
Tiemann, Manuel Reuter and Timo Scheider, joined by Opel Motorsport chief Volker Strycek, won the race, giving the first ever outright N24 victory to Opel. It remained the only N24 win for Opel. A year later, Tiemann returned to Nürburgring with Opel Astra V8 Coupe, finishing in 10th place.
North American racing experience in 2005
In 2005, Tiemann participated in different sports car racing competitions, both in Europe and North America. In May, he joined Orbit Racing at Grand-Am race at Circuit Mont-Tremblant, driving the #39 Riley Mk XI-Pontiac together with Guy Smith and Jim Matthews. They didn't finish the race. In the next race, at Watkins Glen, Tiemann and Smith finished 8th.
Over summer 2005, Tiemann participated in three races of the Le Mans Series with A-Level Engineering's Porsche 996 Turbo, sharing a car with Wolfgang Kaufmann. In October, he traveled one more time to America, to drive Alex Job Racing's Porsche 996 GT3 RSR at Petit Le Mans, together with Ian Baas and Emmanuel Collard. They were second in GT2 class.
Driving for Alex Job Racing in 2006
In 2006, Tiemann continued to race in America, recording five races with Alex Job Racing both in the American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. His only Grand-Am race was at Phoenix, where he finished 29th with Crawford-Porsche prototype, sharing a car with Mike Rockenfeller and Patrick Long.
Tiemann was more successful in the GT2 class of the American Le Mans Series, scoring two third-place finishes at Road America and Laguna Seca, together with Mike Rockenfeller in Alex Job Racing's #23 Porsche 996 GT3 RSR.
Four consecutive wins at 24h Nurburgring with Manthey Racing
While driving for AJR in America, Tiemann was Manthey Racing's driver in Europe. In June 2006, he scored his second victory at 24 hours of Nurburgring, the first with Manthey Racing's Porsche. Drivers of the victorious 996 GT3 RSR were Marcel Tiemann, Lucas Luhr, Timo Bernhard and Mike Rockenfeller.
In 2007, the new Porsche 997 GT3 RSR was introduced and Manthey Racing repeated a victory with it. This time, Tiemann's co-drivers were Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb and Timo Bernhard. The completely same crew scored two more wins in 2008 and 2009.
Tiemann became the first driver with five N24 wins. Pedro Lamy scored his fifth win in 2010, Timo Bernhard joined the top scorers in 2011.
Heavy crash at Imola stopped Marcel's career
Tiemann's career came to an unexpected end in May 2010 at Imola, when he had a heavy crash with Phoenix Racing's Audi R8 LMS in the third round of the International GT Open series. Prior to that, he participated in two rounds at Valencia and Nurburgring, sharing the #59 car with Jim Matthews.
At Imola, on May 23, Tiemann's Audi collided with another car at the start of the second race, hitting a wall at high speed. Tiemann sustained brain trauma, a fractured vertebra and broken ribs in an accident. He was placed in a medically induced coma to assist his recovery. He recovered but never returned to racing.