Yelmer Buurman is a Dutch racing driver who achieved the most in sports car racing, especially in endurance races. Most recently, as Mercedes-AMG works driver, he won Dubai 24 Hours two times, in 2015 and 2018, driving a Mercedes for Black Falcon. Earlier, he finished second at 2013 Nürburgring 24 Hours in a BMW.
In sports car championships, he was third in the 2013 Blancpain Endurance Series and third in the 2012 FIA GT1 World Championship. He spent first ten years of a career in various open-wheel competitions, scoring wins in Formula Renault, Formula 3 or Superleague Formula.
Early years in Formula König and Formula Renault
Born in February 1987 in Ubbergen, Netherlands, Buurman started his racing career in the German-based Formula König in 2002, driving for Lohmann Motorsport. The next step was a Formula Renault in which he spent the next three seasons, participating in different national or international series (Netherlands, UK, USA, Eurocup).
He scored three wins in the 2005 Formula Renault UK season, finishing in the fourth place. In the same year, he made two starts in the British Formula 3 with Fortec Motorsport, joining the team for the full F3 season in 2006.
Two seasons in Formula 3
In 2006, Buurman was driving Dallara-Mercedes for Fortec in British Formula 3, scoring two race wins and finishing fourth in the points. He made a debut at Macau Grand Prix, finishing 8th.
In 2007, he joined Manor Motorsport to compete full season in the Formula 3 Euro Series. Without wins or podiums, he finished sixth in the points. During 2007, Fortec invited him to replace Richard Philippe in two rounds of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series.
Yelmer Buurman finished second in the inaugural Superleague Formula season
Runner-up in the 2008 Superleague Formula
In 2008, Buurman spent half of the season with Trust Team Arden in the GP2 Series, scoring one podium in ten races. He also recorded few starts with Arden in the GP2 Asia Series.
In August 2008, he entered the inaugural season of the Superleague Formula, driving the #5 car for PSV Eindhoven/Azerti Motorsport. He was a race winner in the second round at Nurburgring and finished as a runner-up at the end of the season, behind Davide Rigon.
Buurman spent four seasons in the Superleague Formula
Three more seasons in the Superleague Formula
In the following years, Buurman became a regular in the Superleague Formula, participating in all seasons until discontinuation in 2011. In 2009, he was driving for RSC Anderlecht/Zakspeed, scoring one victory to finish fourth in the points.
In 2010, his team was an AC Milan, operated by Atech GP/Reid Motorsport. He was a race winner three times, finishing fifth in the points. In 2011, driving again for PSV Eindhoven/Azerti Motorsport, Buurman finished fourth in the final Superleague Formula season. During his Superleague years, Buurman tested F1 car for Force India but he wasn't close to getting a ride in Formula 1.
Michael Bartels (left) and Yelmer Buurman were partners in 2012
Victorious debut in the FIA GT1 World Championship
In 2011, Buurman turned his career into another direction. In November, he joined Exim Bank Team China in the last round of the FIA GT1 World Championship, driving the #11 Corvette C6.R in Argentina. Sharing a car with Francesco Pastorelli, he won both races at Potrero de los Funes Circuit in San Luis.
For the 2012 FIA GT1 World Championship season, Buurman became a partner to Michael Bartels in the #18 Vita4One BMW Z4 GT3. They were race winners three times, ending a season tied in the points with Hexis Racing's Stef Dusseldorp and Fred Makowiecki, who won five times and took the second place.
Buurman was drivinbg the #30 Lola LMP2 prototype at 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours
Le Mans debut in Lola LMP2 prototype in 2012
Outside his commitments with the Vita4One team, Buurman recorded two starts with Lola B12/80-Judd LMP2 prototype, driving for Status GP team at Le Castellet 6 Hours and Le Mans 24 Hours. His partners in the #17 Lola at Circuit Paul Ricard were Dean Stirling and Alexander Sims. They finished in the third place.
In 2013, Buurman stayed with Vita4One in two rounds of the ADAC GT Masters and one race of FIA GT Series but he spent the most of the season in a BMW Z4 GT3 of Belgian Marc VDS Team. He competed in the Blancpain Endurance Series, VLN Endurance Series and 24 Hours of Nürburgring.
Yelmer Buurman started to race with Mercedes in 2014
Moving to Mercedes and Black Falcon in 2014
In 2014, Buurman moved into Black Falcon's Mercedes in the Blancpain Endurance Series, VLN Series and Nurburgring 24 Hours. After a year without notable results, a victory at Dubai 24 Hours came early in 2015. His co-driver in that race were Abdulaziz Al Faisal, Hubert Haupt and Oliver Webb. At Nurburgring 24h, he was fifth.
In 2016, a new Mercedes-AMG GT3 came. Buurman finished fourth at Nurburgring 24 Hours what was his best result that year. Next year, he returned to Nurburgring Nordschleife in the #1 Mercedes-AMG GT3, finishing in the fifth place. At Dubai 24 Hours, he finished third.