Belgian BMW works driver Maxime Martin is set to leave BMW Motorsport at the end of this year, and pursue other opportunities in motorsport.
The 31-year-old became a BMW works driver in 2013 after finishing runner-up in the 2012 BMW Sports Trophy.
Martin started out as a driver for BMW Team RLL in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) in 2013. The following season, he made his debut in the DTM. In doing so, he followed in the footsteps of his father Jean-Michel, who drove in this series for BMW in the 1980s.
For sportscar fans, most of his notable achievements with BMW were in GT3 cars. In amongst his seasons racing GT3s with BMW, the highlight came at his home race – the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps – with ROWE Racing, winning the 2016 edition in its BMW M6 GT3 with Alex Simms and Philipp Eng.
Another particularly memorable performance by Martin in a BMW (before he became a works driver) came in the 2013 Nürburgring 24 Hours (below), where he finished second with Marc VDS Racing after a stunning drive in the heavy rain in the team’s Z4 GT3.
In 64 DTM races with BMW, Maxime Martin claimed three victories and ten podiums in total. He started from pole position on three occasions and ended the DTM season seventh overall twice (2014, 2015) and eighth twice (2016, 2017).
“On behalf of BMW Motorsport, I would like to thank Maxime Martin for his commitment over the past five years,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “Maxime showed that it is possible to progress from customer racing to the top echelon of works racing with us. It was always impressive to see how effortlessly he was able to switch between DTM and GT cars. We wish him all the best for the future.”
Martin added: “It has definitely been a wonderful time with BMW, being there for five years as official BMW works driver. The two years before I had already been racing with the Marc VDS Racing Team in a BMW so I have been with the brand for seven years, first in customer racing, then as a works driver.
“We enjoyed really great success together, with wins and podiums in the DTM, the victory at the 24 hours of Spa-Francorchamps as well as second places at the 24 hours at the Nürburgring. I would like to thank Jens Marquardt, Adam Baker and Rudi Dittrich who believed in me five years ago and offered me the opportunity to join BMW as a works driver.
“I think without this everything maybe would have been different. But you sometimes need new challenges and changes so I decided to leave for a new challenge. I am looking forward to what awaits me but it was a great time with BMW and I want to thank everybody involved in it.”