Rest in peace, Charly.
The loss of Karl ‘Charly’ Lamm, who died on January 24th 2019, aged just 63, leaves an irreplaceable hole in the heart of the entire DTM family, and across the entire landscape of international motorsport.
For fans of motorsport across the globe, Charly was the heart and soul of the internationally renowned Schnitzer Motorsport operation, which has enjoyed huge success in sports and touring cars since its foundation in the 1960s.
When Charly assumed team manager responsibilities in the 1970s, he led Schnitzer-BMW to titles in the World and European Touring Car Championships. Schnitzer won five races apiece at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps and Nürburgring Nordschleife 24-Hour races, and it also triumphed in the the FIA GT World Cup.
On its DTM debut in 1989, and, again, upon its return after a 20-year absence in 2012, Schnitzer and BMW won the DTM title, first with Roberto Ravaglia and latterly with Bruno Spengler.
But perhaps Schnitzer’s most iconic victory came in 1999, when it partnered once more with BMW to tackle the world-famous Le Mans 24 Hours. Schnitzer’s preparation of the iconic V12 LMR earned BMW its sole success in the world’s greatest enduro.
It was a cruel irony that, at the end of 2018, after a long and illustrious career, Charly finally chose to enter retirement in order to enjoy the fruits of a lifetime’s hard work.
“Charly’s death comes as a complete shock to all of us,” said Gerhard Berger, the Chairman of DTM umbrella organization ITR, who also raced touring cars successfully for Schnitzer in the mid ’80s.
“He 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.”
Everyone at DTM regarded Charly not only as a man who carved out a towering motorsport legacy, but also as a warm, wise and wonderful human being. He leaves a huge hole in our hearts.
To his wife and family, we offer our deepest condolences; to his colleagues and fans, we share a combined sorrow but will continue to remember the achievements of a unique figure in German and international motorsport.