Career Summary:

Michael Krumm

  • March 19, 1970
  • 47
  • Germany
  • Vln – Langstrecken Meisterschaft Nurburgring
  • 400
  • Nissan GT Academy Team RJN
  • 36
  • 96
  • 22
  • 28
  • 9.00%
  • 24.00%

Michael Krumm (nicknamed Mike) is a German racing driver who made an impressive career in Japan, being the Japanese Formula 3 champion in 1994 and two-time Japanese GT champion in 1997 and 2003. In 2011, he gained his only international title, becoming the FIA GT1 World Champion with JR Motorsports' Nissan GT-R. Krumm participated seven times at 24 hours of Le Mans. His best overall result was third place in 2002 when he was driving Audi R8 for Audi Sport Team Joest.

Michael Krumm

Michael Krumm

Winning Formula Ford and Formula Opel Lotus championships

Michael Krumm was born on March 19, 1970, in Reutlingen, Germany. He started racing at the age 14, staying in karting competitions until 1988, when he moved into German Formula Ford. After finishing fifth in his debut season, scoring one win, Michael became Formula Ford champion in 1989. Another championship title followed in the next season when he won German Formula Opel Lotus championship.

Michael spent three more seasons in the German and European single-seater competitions, winning races in the Formula Opel Lotus Euroseries, German Formula 3 and Italian Formula 3. After finishing fourth in the 1993 German F3 season, Krumm moved to Japan.

Moving to Japan and winning F3 championship in 1994

In 1994, Michael took part in three different racing competitions in Japan, being the most successful in Formula 3. Driving for Team TOM's, he became Japanese F3 champion, winning six out of ten races. In the annual Macau Grand Prix, he finished fifth.

Other Krumm's competitions were Japanese Touring Car Championship and Japanese Formula 3000 (now Super Formula), but without notable results.

1995 – Japanese GT Championship debut

In 1995, Krumm debuted in the Japanese GT Championship, driving Team Tom's #36 Toyota Supra. His co-driver was Masanori Sekiya. With one victory, at Sendai Hi-Land Raceway, Krumm finished fifth in the points.

He also participated in the Japanese Touring Car Championship, winning one race with Toyota Corona and finishing 8th. In the Formula 3000, he was without wins in seven races.

Third place in the 1996 Japanese Touring Car Championship

In 1996, Formula 3000 changed its name to Formula Nippon. Krumm was driving for Stellar International, finishing 15th in the final standings.

He was much more successful in the Touring Car Championship, winning one race with Toyota Corona and finishing third in the points. In GT racing, he participated in only one race, driving Porsche 911 GT2 for Taku Motorsports at Fuji.

Michael Krumm and Pedro de la Rosa in 1997

Michael Krumm and Pedro de la Rosa in 1997

Japanese GT champion in 1997

Krumm captured his second Japanese championship title in 1997, becoming the GT champion with Toyota Castrol Team's Supra. His co-driver in the #36 car was Pedro de la Rosa. The Spanish-German crew scored two wins in GT500 class.

In the 1997 Japanese Touring Car Championship, Krumm won one race and finished tenth in the points. In Formula Nippon, Krumm recorded five starts with three different teams, without wins or podiums.

1998 - Le Mans debut with Nissan

In 1998, Krumm left Toyota and joined another Japanese manufacturer – Nissan. He participated full season in the German Supertouring Championship, driving the Nissan Primera GT for Nissan Racing Team Rosberg.  Scoring one podium, he finished 9th in the points.

In June 1998, Krumm debuted at 24 hours of Le Mans. He was driving factory-entered #30 Nissan R390 GT1 prepared by Tom Walkinshaw Racing. With John Nielsen and Franck Lagorce as co-drivers, Krumm finished in the fifth place.

Back to Japanese championships in 1999

In 1999, Krumm returned to Japan, participate full season in Japanese competitions, driving for Nismo in the GT Championship and for Team 5Zigen in the Formula Nippon. He scored two podiums with #6 Reynard-Mugen, finishing fifth in the Formula Nippon standings.

In the GT championship, Krumm was sharing the #2 Nissan Skyline GT-R with Aguri Suzuki. With two podiums, they finished sixth in the points. In June 1999, Krumm returned to Le Mans with Nissan Motorsport's Nissan R391 LMP car. His co-drivers were Erik Comas and Satoshi Motoyama. They retired after 110 laps.

Formula Nippon runner-up in 2000

In 2000, Krumm had a career-best season in the Formula Nippon. Although he didn't win a race, five podiums were enough to finish in the second place at the end of the season, behind champion Toranosuke Takagi.

Ukyo Katayama was Krumm's co-driver in #2 Nissan Skyline GT-R in 2000 Japanese GT season. They won a non-championship race at Sepang. In the championship races, Krumm scored one podium to finish 8th in the points.

2001 - First GT victory with Nissan

Krumm scored his first GT victory with Nissan in 2001, at Fuji Speedway, sharing the #22 Nissan with Tetsuya Tanaka. At the end of the season, Krumm was fifth.

In the 2001 Formula Nippon season, Krumm was still driving for Team 5Zigen. Scoring one podium, he finished 7th in the points.

The season 2001 was also marked by Krumm's attempts in the American CART FedEx Championship. He was driving #19 Lola-Ford for Dale Coyne Racing in two races, at Grand Prix of Monterey in Mexico and at Grand Prix of Long Beach.

2002 24h Le Mans podium

2002 24h Le Mans podium

Podium at Le Mans 24h with Audi

In 2002 Japanese GT Championship, Krumm had a new co-driver again. He was sharing the #22 Skyline GT-R with Satoshi Motoyama. With two podiums, they finished 8th in the points.

The highlight of 2002 was Krumm's participation at 24 hours of Le Mans, not with Nissan but with Audi Sport Team Joest. He was sharing the #3 Audi R8 with Marco Werner and Philipp Peter. They finished third, behind two other Audi R8s.

Motoyama and Krum - 2003 Japanese GT champions

Motoyama and Krum - 2003 Japanese GT champions

2003 Japanese GT champion with Nismo

In the 2003 Japanese GT Championship season, Michael Krumm and Satoshi Motoyama stayed together in Nismo's Skyline GT-R. It was a good decision, as they won the championship title.

They missed to win any race, but four podiums in eight races were good enough to beat Toyota's pair Akira Iida/Juichi Wakisaka for three points. In 2003, Krumm didn't take part in any other competition.

Four GT seasons with Nissan Fairlady Z

In 2004, Krumm changed both car and co-driver. He participated in the GT championship with #22 Nissan Fairlady Z, sharing a car with Masami Kageyama.They won one race, at Tokachi, to finish ninth in the points.

Krumm was driving Nismo's Fairlady Z for three more Super GT seasons (until 2007) with five different co-drivers (Masataka Yanagida, Sakon Yamamoto, Richard Lyons, Fabio Carbone and Tsugio Matsuda). He scored nine podiums in three seasons, finishing best in the 4th place in 2006.

Le Mans attempt with Rollcentre Racing

Krumm came to Le Mans 24h races for the fourth time in a career in 2005, driving Dallara SP1-Nissan prototype for Rollcentre Racing. His co-drivers were Harold Primat and Bobby Verdon-Roe. They retired after 133 laps.

Besides Le Mans, Krumm recorded two more races with Rollcentre Racing, participating at 12h Sebring and 1000 km Spa, retiring in both races.

Krumm and Motoyama ahead of 2007 Formula Nippon season

Krumm and Motoyama ahead of 2007 Formula Nippon season

2007 - one last season in Formula Nippon

In 2007, Krumm returned one more time to Formula Nippon, to drive #20 Lola-Toyota for the Arabian Oasis Team Impul. Without podiums or wins, he finished 10th in the points.

He concluded his F3000/Formula Nippon career after 65 starts with six different teams, scoring nine podiums.

Back to cockpit of Nissan GT-R in 2008

In 2008, Krumm was back in the cockpit of Nissan GT-R, sharing the #22 car with Masataka Yanagida. At Suzuka 1000 km races, they were joined by Dominik Schwager. After scoring two podiums, Krumm finished 7th in the points.

In 2009, Krumm had been focused on other competitions, so he participated in only one Super GT race, together with Satoshi Motoyama at Suzuka 1000 km.

Switching to the FIA GT1 Championship

After leaving Super GT Series, Krumm participated in four races of the FIA GT1 Championship with Nissan Motorsport's Nissan  GT-R but also in one race of the Le Mans Series with Kolles Racing's Audi R10 TDI. His co-driver in FIA GT races was Darren Turner.

In 2010, Krumm spent a full season in the FIA GT1 World Championship, driving the #23 Nissan GT-R GT1 for Sumo Power GT alongside Peter Dumbreck. With one victory (Algarve), they finished ninth in the points.

Lucas Luhr and Michael Krumm - 2011 world champions

Lucas Luhr and Michael Krumm - 2011 world champions

FIA GT1 World Champion in 2011

Krumm returned to FIA GT1 Championship in 2011, with the same team but under the banner of JR Motorsports. His co-driver in the #23 Nissan GT-R GT1 was Lucas Luhr. The German duo scored four wins  (Algarve, Silverstone, two at Paul Ricard), capturing world's title ahead of Aston Martin's Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke.

Return to Super GT and Le Mans in 2012

After reaching a top of the world, Krumm returned to the Japanese Super GT Series in 2012, driving Nissan GT-R for Nismo. He rejoined Satoshi Motoyama in the #23 car. They were on the podium just once, finishing 8th in the final standings.

In 2012, Krumm also returned to 24h Le Mans, for the first time after 2005. He and Motoyama were the part of Highcroft Racing crew, together with Marino Franchitti, in the all-new DeltaWing prototype. They retired after 75 laps.

Three last Super GT seasons with Kondo Racing

Krumm remained with Nissan in the 2013 Super GT season but moved to Kondo Racing team. His partner in the #24 Nissan GT-R was Hironobu Yasuda. Without podiums or wins, they were 13th in the final standings. In 2014, Daiki Sasaki joined Krumm in the #24 car. Scoring one podium, they finished 10th in the points.

In 2015, Krumm participated in five races, sharing a car with Sasaki. They won the race at Fuji Speedway, what was Krumm's last Super GT win in a career. Spending nineteen seasons in the Japanese premier GT competition, Krumm scored six wins and two championship titles.

Le Mans LMP2 class podium finishers in 2013

Le Mans LMP2 class podium finishers in 2013

Class podium at Le Mans in 2013

While driving for Kondo Racing in Japan, Krumm returned two more times to Le Mans. In 2013, he was a part of Greaves Motorsport's crew which scored LMP2 class podiums. The #42 Zytek Z11SN-Nissan finished third in LMP2 class and ninth overall, driven by Krumm, Jann Mardenborough and Lucas Ordonez.

In 2015, Krumm was planning to compete with Nissan's new LMP1 prototype, but his #22 GT-R LM Nismo didn't even start the race.

Working both for Nissan and TV stations

After retiring from GT racing in Japan, Krumm stayed with Nissan to work with the team and drivers, but he also made regular appearances on Japanese TV stations as a host and race commentator. Krumm didn't retire from racing completely, as he stays a regular competitor at 24 hours of Nurburgring. His best result in that race in 9th place in 2015 with Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3.

Krumm at 2016 24h Nurburgring

Krumm at 2016 24h Nurburgring

Photos: Michael Krumm gallery, motorsport.com,