The 41-year old Toyota Racing driver has decided to end his racing career after the 6 Hours of Bahrain, final round of the 2015 FIA WEC, where he will share the N°2 Toyota TS040 Hybrid/Michelin with Stéphane Sarrazin and Mike Conway.
After claiming a BMX world title in 1986, the son of former multiple European Rallycross Champion Franz Wurz started racing in karts in 1989.
He won two Formula Ford titles, then F2 titles in 1993 and 1994 before joining Joest Racing to contest (and win!) the 1996 Le Mans 24 Hours aged just 22 in a TWR-Porsche alongside Manuel Reuter and Davy Jones. He is still the youngest ever winner of the French race.
After a spell as Benetton-Renault’s test driver, he replaced Gerhard Berger for three grands prix in 1997 and finished his third F1 race (British GP) on the podium! That earned him a full-time seat at Benetton in 1998, 1999 and 2000 with Giancarlo Fisichella, before handing over to Jenson Button.
In 2005, while working as test driver for McLaren-Mercedes, he was called up to replace the injured Juan-Pablo Montoya at the San Marino GP which he finished on the podium! That result re-launched his F1 career and a contract with Williams followed in 2007. He didn’t take part in the year’s last race, however.
Wurz decided to pull out of F1 but was recruited as test driver by Honda, then Brawn GP, in parallel to a new career in endurance racing.
In 2008, Wurz joined Peugeot Sport and won Le Mans for a second time in 2009 in a Peugeot 908 HDI FAP/Michelin along with David Brabham and Marc Gené. He also won the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans with the French make.
He preceded Peugeot’s surprise withdrawal from the discipline by signing for Toyota Racing for 2012, winning five races in total in the Japanese team’s hybrid prototypes.
The charismatic Austrian was voted president of the Grand Prix Driver Association by his fellow drivers last year. He also works with the FIA as a talent spotter, in addition to commentary work on Austrian TV.
After Bahrain, he intends to spend time with his family, compete in triathlons and restore a Lancia Stratos...