“Charly was like a father” | DTM
2019-01-28 17:00:00

“Charly was like a father”

“Charly was like a father”

The sudden death of Schnitzer Motorsport legend Charly Lamm, who retired from motorsport at the end of 2018, has left a huge void in the motorsport community.

Schnitzer became synonymous with BMW, the Munich marque with whom it contested touring car, GT and sports car races over the past five decades. A young Charly joined the organisation founded by his half-brothers in the 1970s, and oversaw the German specialist’s successes. The partnership quickly became successful, writing several unique chapters in DTM history.

In 1989, Schnitzer’s first season in DTM, it was Roberto Ravaglia who won the drivers’ crown in the team’s BMW M3. The Italian took ‘only’ three race victories that year en route to the championship – compared to Klaus Ludwig’s (Mercedes) five wins and Klaus Niedzwiedz’s (Ford) four –, but it was Ravaglia’s consistency – a big part of Lamm’s overall approach to touring car racing – that saw him through.

Nearly a quarter of a century later, upon BMW’s return to the series, Schnitzer again triumphed, taking Bruno Spengler to the title following a tense, season-long battle with the Mercedes of Gary Paffett.

In Lamm’s final race for Schnitzer, last November’s Guia GT race at Macau, Augusto Farfus claimed an emotional victory. It was an appropriate finale: Charly was not only a relentlessly competitive individual – fired with that innate perfectionism possessed of all successful racers – but a wonderfully warm and wise man who had earned the respect and admiration of the entire motorsport world.


Following his death, the community was united in its grief, with tributes pouring forth from many colleagues and rivals.

Dieter Gass (Audi head of motorsport)
“The news of Charly Lamm’s sudden and – for me – totally unexpected death has shocked us at Audi as well. The motorsport family has lost a charismatic personality and wonderful individual. The way in which Charly Lamm lived for motorsport was second to none. He was a true sportsman, more than fair competitor and always saw the big picture. Conversations with him were always very inspiring for me. For me, he was a role model. Our sympathy goes to his family and the entire Schnitzer team that Charly Lamm lived for.”


Philipp Eng (BMW DTM driver)


Augusto Farfus (Schnitzer BMW driver, and 2019 Daytona 24 Hours class winner)

BMW Motorsport


Andretti Motorsport



Audi Formula E



Jean Todt (FIA president)



Fritz Enzinger (Porsche head of motorsport) 


Gerhard Berger (chairman of DTM umbrella organisation, ITR)

“Charly was not only one of the best team managers with whom I ever had the pleasure to work – both as a racing driver and as BMW Motorsport Director – but he was also a great personality, and also a great friend. On behalf of the entire DTM community, I would like to express my condolences to his wife and his sons.”


BMW Motorsport

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