Marc Lieb is a professional racing driver from Germany, considered as one of the world’s best endurance racers in the 21st century. He was the World Endurance champion with Porsche in 2016, also winning Le Mans 24 Hours that year. Previously, he scored three GT class wins at Le Mans in 2005, 2010 and 2013.
In other famous endurance races, he triumphed four times at 24 Hours of Nürburgring, once at 24 Hours of Spa, once in GT2 class at Sebring 12 Hours. Besides FIA WEC title, he collected many other championship titles, two times in FIA GT Championship, four times in the Le Mans Seriesand once in the Porsche Carrera Cup.
From karting to Formula Renault
Born in July 1980 in Stuttgart, Marc began his career in karting racing in 1992. After three years spent in karting racing, Lieb moved up to German Formula Renault Championship.
The first season spent in the series wasn’t so glorious but in the second attempt, he became a runner-up. In 1999, he took 3rd place in Formula Renault Eurocup what was his last year in open-wheel racing.
Marc starts cooperation with Porsche in 2000
In 2000 Lieb debuted in the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany, competing as a Porsche Junior driver. He finished at the 5th position in the championship while in the following year he dropped to 7th place. In 2001, Marc debuted in Porsche Supercup and managed to score one podium finish.
Finally, in 2002 the German racer won the Porsche Carrera Cup title after being the winner of four races but also tasted the experience of endurance racing, competing at 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans. Marc also appeared in two races of the FIA GT Championship, but without too much success.
Full-time Porsche driver since 2003
He was promoted to Porsche’s full-time driver before the start of 2003 campaign. He became a champion in N-GT class of the FIA GT Championship, driving alongside Stephane Ortelli as a member of Freisinger Motorsport. The highlights of the year were a triumph at 24 Hours of Spa and 2nd place in GT class at 24 Hours of Le Mans. During 2004, Lieb was a driver of Alex Job racing and partnered with Romain Dumas competed in the American Le Mans Series where they finished the season at 4th place.
Video - Lieb onboard at Nurburgring
Engineering studies reduced his racing duties for a while
Interestingly, in 2005 Marc decided to reduce his duties with Porsche after he started studies of engineering at Esslingen University. Previously he studied automotive engineering in Stuttgart but left it because of racing duties. After completing studies in Esslingen, Lieb started to work for Porsche Motorsport as an engineer.
In parallel with studies, Marc had a very impressive season on the track. Together with Mike Rockenfeller he won the N-GT class title in the FIA GT Championship and scored a class win at Le Mans. He also became European Le Mans Series champion, winning three out of four races that year.
Due to his studying duties, Lieb hasn’t raced too much during 2006, 2007 and 2008 but still was very successful in the races in which he has competed as a Porsche works driver. In 2006 he won the GT2 title in Le Mans Series while in ALMS he was second at 12 Hours of Sebring. Marc then won 24 Hours of Nurburgring in 2007 and 2008, scored a class win at 24 Hours of Spa and Petit Le Mans and eventually finished as ELMS runner-up in 2007 and in 2008, too.
ELMS champion and multiple Nurburgring 24 hours winner
For the 2009 campaign, Lieb was partnered with the Austrian driver Richard Lietz, driving the Felbermayr Proton’s Porsche 911. They won the GT2 title in ELMS. For the third time, he won the 24 Hours of Nurburgring driving for Manthey Racing. In the following year, the German-Austrian pair defended its ELMS title, but more important was GT2 class victory at Le Mans where he shared a driving seat with Wolf Henzler and Richard Lietz.
In 2011 the trio finished 4th in Le Mans 24h in GTE Pro class but in ELMS with Lietz, he failed to defend a title. As a consolation, Lieb earned the fourth win at Nurburgring endurance race, accompanied with well-known names – Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas, and Lucas Luhr. The same year Marc appeared as a guest in the V8 Supercars Series driving alongside Alex Davison, driving Stone Brothers Racing’s Ford Falcon, but without too much success.
Start of WEC career and switch to Porsche 919 Hybrid
Since 2012, Marc regularly competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship. In the first season, driving for Team Felbermayr-Proton alongside Henzler and Lietz, he finished 3rd overall after scoring two race wins, at Spa and Fuji Speedway. In 2013, Lieb moved to Team Manthey which also was competing in LMGTE Pro class. The drivers line-up was changed after Romain Dumas arrived as a substitute for Henzler. They clinched a class win at Le Mans but in the overall standings, they were 4th.
In 2014, as a long serving and well-experienced racer, Marc became involved in the Porsche’s LMP1 program. He was teamed-up with Neel Jani and Romain Dumas what was the beginning of the successful partnership. In their first season, Porsche’s drivers won the season-closing race in Sao Paulo but at the end of the season, they weren’t too happy as they were 3rd overall.
The same result they achieved in 2015 when they were pretty unlucky. Again, Lieb and his teammates won the last race of the year, in Bahrain, but in five races they finished at the 2nd position.
Career highlight - Lieb triumphs at Le Mans
Finally, better results arrived at the beginning of 2016. The trio won the race at Silverstone before finishing 2nd at Spa. Finally, Lieb, Dumas, and Jani confirmed their qualities winning 24 Hours of Le Mans after one of the most dramatic races and very late Toyota’s retirement. Later in the season, Lieb/Jani/Dumas didn't score any more wins or podiums, but they collected enough points to celebrate take the 2016 FIA WEC drivers' title.
Slowing down racing activities since 2017
With FIA WEC and Le Mans trophies in his hands, Marc Lieb slowed down his racing activities in 2017, competing with Porsche customer teams in different championships. The highlight of the season was the second place overall at Bathurst 12 Hour race with Competition Motorsports' Porsche 911 GT3 R, together with two Australian drivers.
In 2018, he raced with Black Swan Racing's Porsche at Bathurst, finishing third overall. He joined the same team in another endurance classic, at Spa 24 Hours, finishing 9th in Pro-Am class. He also recorded few starts in the ADAC GT Masters and European Le Mans Series.