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Le Mans winning Schnitzer Motorsport team set to be liquidated

Schnitzer Motorsport, the illustrious German outfit that helped BMW to multiple sportscar titles and a Le Mans win in 1999, is set to be liquidated after BMW cut ties with the organisation in late 2020.

In December, BMW decided against extending its partnership with Schnitzer as a works outfit after a restructuring of its GT racing programme.

The decision placed the team in jeopardy, and team boss Herbert Schnitzer Jr has now confirmed that the team is in the process of liquidisation.

“Our hearts are really bleeding,” Schnitzer Jr told Autosport. “We’ve spent more time together in some cases than with our families – apart from me, because it is my family.”

“The end can only be averted if a buyer still comes along who takes over a great amount of the business and the staff,” he continued.

“We would then make an agreement on the use of the name. Then the buyer can still decide whether he wants to rent or buy the location or open a new one. That would be the only chance to avert this.

“Part-ownership does not work through the decision to close the business. It’s really about someone buying it and reviving it in a different form. What’s most important is that people are taken on.”

The outfit reached great heights in the 1980s and 1990s in touring car racing, winning multiple championships along the way. It would later focus on sportscar racing, winning the Nürburgring 24 Hours. It would also become the driving force behind BMW’s sole overall victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, when it won with the V12 LMR prototype.

According to Schnitzer, the possibility to use the family name to ensure a continuation in motorsport is also open to discussion.

“If someone wants to do motorsport as Schnitzer and with our logo, there is still a chance afterwards,” he said. “Then he would have to buy new equipment. But he would have to take over the people – that is also the legal basis.

“But since we will also sell our memorabilia and our trophies at some point, it would be good if this buyer were there early, because that is our history.”

“So if someone comes now, then we would stop our preparations for the sale presentation. Hope dies last.”

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