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James Newbold

Mercedes GT ace Maximilian Buhk announces retirement at age of 29

Buhk raced for Mercedes in all but one year since his switch to GT racing in 2012, claiming four major titles in his first five seasons in GT3 machinery.

For the last two years following the DTM’s switch to GT3 regulations the German has developed steer-by-wire technology designed to aid disabled road users, scoring its first DTM podium in last year’s madcap Norisring finale.

He was out of contract with AMG at the end of this year, which has yielded a best DTM result of tenth in the first race at Hockenheim last weekend, and announced prior to Sunday’s final round that he would be calling time on his career.

In a statement, Buhk explained that changing priorities were a leading factor, stating that “for some time now, I have been feeling the desire for change”.

“I got married in the summer and was allowed to witness the birth of my daughter Clara Margeaux,” Buhk said.

“I notice that my priorities are shifting and the desire to race and the competition are no longer fully paramount.

“It's time to start something new."

Maximilian Buhk, Mercedes-AMG Team Mucke Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Photo by: Alexander Trienitz)

Buhk made a winning arrival in GT racing with Heico Motorsport by claiming the 2012 FIA GT3 European championship alongside Dominik Baumann, then remained with the team for 2013 as it became HTP Motorsport. He scooped the Blancpain Endurance Series after a crucial victory in the championship’s blue ribband at Spa with Maximilian Gotz and Bernd Schneider.

HTP switched to Bentley for 2015, which yielded the Blancpain Sprint Series title alongside Vincent Abril, before returning to Mercedes for 2016 as Buhk reunited with Baumann for the overall Blancpain GT crown. The pair missed out on a second Endurance title with Jazeman Jaafar by a single point to Garage 59’s McLaren.

Successes for Buhk had been less frequent in recent years, and he admitted that “the last three years of our cooperation [with AMG] have not been in complete harmony”. However, he stressed that this “does not change the connection I feel towards the brand and most people working there”.

"I have experienced the most successful time of my career together with Mercedes-AMG, and I am obliged to thank them for that," Buhk said.

He reserved special praise for Norbert Bruckner, describing his former HTP boss as “my first sponsor, mentor and paternal friend”.

“Without him, I would certainly not have come this far in motorsport,” Buhk said. “I owe Nobby too much to put it into words at this point."

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