SIMPLY PUT, LUCAS LUHR IS ONE OF THE MOST ACCOMPLISHED AND HIGHLY DECORATED DRIVERS IN THE MODERN HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL SPORTSCAR RACING.
Not that his success has come easily. Indeed, it’s a career built on triumphing against the odds. If lifting the 1994 European Karting Championship hinted at the success to come, then race-winning campaigns in his native Formula Ford and F3 series merely confirmed that early promise.
But it’s budget, not talent, that defines a young driver’s opportunities and with the price of progressing further down the road towards Formula 1 proving prohibitive, his burgeoning career looked set to stall.
Lucas’ performances had not gone unnoticed though and, while at school one day, he received the call that would define his career. That call came from Porsche…
Pitched against a raft of other impressive young talents, Lucas duly secured a place on the manufacturer’s highly coveted junior programme for the 1999 season. He wouldn’t disappoint, and made history by becoming the first (and still only) rookie to win its one-make Porsche Carrera Cup Germany title.
It would be the first of many sportscar triumphs that soon helped establish Lucas as one of the finest drivers of his generation. Such was his talent that, by the time BMW Motorsport came calling in 2014, the German had already enjoyed factory stints with Audi Sport, Porsche Motorsport and Nissan.
Indeed, it was with the latter that Lucas notched up his most notable achievement to date: 2011 FIA GT1 World Champion for Drivers alongside Michael Krumm in a JRM-entered GT-R.
But it’s for his exploits Stateside that Luhr is perhaps best known. A combination of six outright and class American Le Mans Series titles by way of 49 victories – five coming at the 12 Hours of Sebring – and 23 pole positions make him the most decorated driver in ALMS history. And with the championship folding at the end of 2013, it’s a record that will never be broken.
It’s those successes, allied to further victories around the world, which prompted BMW Motorsport to sign Lucas for its 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship campaign, racing a Z4 in the highly competitive and manufacturer-rich GTE class.
Alongside team-mate John Edwards, Lucas went on to take three podiums, including a dominant victory at Laguna Seca. But the highlight of the year came at the 24 Hours of Spa, in which he and team-mates Nick Catsburg and Marcus Palttala took their #46 BMW Z4 GT3 to a superb victory.
After his successful season, Lucas continued his duties as factory driver for BMW in 2016, racing an M6 GTLM in the IMSA WTSCC. Highlights from the year included a podium at Road America and competing in his 11th Nurburgring 24 Hours.