Frank Stippler is a racing driver from Germany who has competed in various championships, mostly in sports car racing. His most successful season was in 2003 when he conquered both the Porsche Supercup and Porsche Carrera Cup Germany.
Since 2004, he was an Audi driver in different competitions, including DTM, FIA GT1 World Championship, FIA GT Series, ADAC GT Masters, Blancpain GT Series or VLN Endurance Series. In 2012, he won two great endurance races in an Audi R8 LMS - the 24 Hours of Nurburgring and 24 Hours of Spa. He repeated a victory at Nurburgring in 2019.
Double Porsche Cup champion early in a career
Frank Stippler was born in April 1975 in Cologne and began his career in 1993, racing in historic cars events and other sports cars events. In parallel to his racing duties, Frank worked as an apprentice mechanic and in 2003 graduated engineering.
From 1997 to 2003 Stippler successfully raced in Porsche Carrera Cup Germany. In 2000 he was the series runner-up, losing to Jorg Bergmeister, while in 2002 Frank again was vice-champion, this time finishing behind Marc Lieb. Finally, in 2003 he became a champion, driving for Team Farnbacher. He won the races at Adria Raceway, Nurburgring, and Zandvoort, and won the title by 10 points.
The same year Stippler put another trophy in his showcase. He became Porsche Supercup champion after winning the races at A1 Ring, Nurburgring, Silverstone, Hockenheim, Hungaroring, and Monza. He also finished 2nd at Catalunya and Indianapolis what was more than enough to clinch the title by 16 points to runner-up Wolf Henzler.
Audi factory driver since 2004
After winning both titles in the Porsche championships, Stippler switched attention to other racing series. In 2004 he became Audi factory pilot and over the years competed in various series, scoring many notable results.
In 2005 and 2006 the Cologne-born raced with Audi Sport Team Joest in DTM but the results in the popular German championship weren’t brilliant – in both seasons he finished 14th overall, failing to score a single podium finish. In the following year, Stipple finished 2nd in the SP7 class and 3rd overall at 24 Hours of Nurburgring, driving the Land Motorsport’s Audi alongside Marc Basseng, Dirk Adorf, and Marc Hennerici.
Winner of Nurburgring 24h and Spa 24h
Stippler was among the class winners of the 39th edition of Nurburgring 24 Hours. He won the GT3 class in 2011 driving Team Phoenix’s Audi R8 LMS alongside Marc Basseng, Mike Rockenfeller, and Marcel Fassler. Interestingly, Frank also was 2nd in the GT3 class of the same race as he also was a member of the other Team Phoenix’s car alongside Marc Hennerici, Christopher Haase, and Markus Winkelhock.
In 2012, Stippler won Nurburgring 24h overall title, driving the Team Phoenix’s Audi R8 LMS Ultra #3 alongside Haase, Winkelhock, and Basseng. That year probably was the best in Frank’s career so far as he also was the winner of another endurance classic – 24 Hours of Spa. In the Ardennes, he was teamed behind the wheel of Audi R8 LMS Ultra with Rene Rast and Andrea Piccini.
FIA GT Series runner-up and VLN champion
The stream of successes continued in 2013. Stippler raced in the FIA GT Championship with Belgian Audi Club Team WRT. His co-driver was Edward Sandstrom and they finished 2nd in the standings, behind their teammates Laurens Vanthoor and Stephane Ortelli.
In 2014 Stippler won the title in VLN championship SP9 class, driving a Phoenix Racing’s Audi after scoring two wins and scoring a podium finish in other six races. Two years later, he became the VLN SP9 class champion for the second time in his career, this time scoring two wins and a total of five podiums out of six races.
German racer also competed in the Blancpain GT Series, in both Sprint and Endurance Cups. Driving a Belgian Audi Club Team WRT’s Audi alongside Nico Muller and Stephane Ortelli, he won the pole position for 24 Hours of Spa but they finished 2nd in the race. At the end of the season, Frank was 3rd in the Endurance Cup Drivers’ Championship.
Race of Legends winner in 2017
In 2017, Stippler spent a season driving an Audi R8 LMS for several teams. He joined Mucke Motorsport in the ADAC GT Masters and ISR team in the Blancpain GT Series, scoring no wins or podiums. On the other side, he was driving for Phoenix Racing in the VLN Endurance Series, again winning SP9 GT3 class title.
Stippler's most notable success in 2017 was the Race of Legends as a part of the Audi Sport TT Cup support programme. He won a race, beating some active racers (Lucas di Grassi, Marcel Fassler) and many racing legends such are Tom Kristensen, Emanuele Piro, Dindo Capello or Hans-Joachim Stuck.
One more victory at Nürburgring in 2019
Stippler continued to race work as Audi factory driver in 2018 but without any notable success. The next great victory came in May 2019 when he won the 24 Hours of Nürburgring for the second time in a career. His teammates in the #4 Audi R8 LMS Evo were Pierre Kaffer, Dries Vanthoor and Frederic Vervisch.
Other racing activities
During his long career, Stippler also participated in many other championships (STCC, ADAC GT Masters, Rolex Sports Car Series) and renowned races like 24 Hours of Daytona, Dubai 24h and Bathurst 12 Hours. He also was the winner of 24 hours Le Mans Classic and winner of Goodwood Revival.