Maximilian Buhk calls time on ultra-successful professional career

Maximilian Buhk calls time on ultra-successful professional career

Maximilian Buhk has announced his retirement from motor racing, calling time on a 10-year professional career that included major success in SRO competition. 

Buhk came to prominence in 2012, graduating from entry-level single-seater racing directly to the GT3 ranks. Sharing a  Mercedes SLS AMG with fellow youngster Dominik Baumann, he won the FIA GT3 European Series in dominant fashion. In this respect he was at the forefront of a new movement, making an early switch from single-seaters to GT racing and forging a hugely successful career as a factory driver. 

Though he was just 20 years old at the time, the 2013 campaign was arguably Buhk's best. Competing in what was then known as the Blancpain Endurance Series, he made his debut in the third round of the season at Circuit Paul Ricard, finishing fifth overall in an HTP Motorsport Mercedes. He was back on the grid at the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, remaining with the same team and linking up with fellow young gun Maxi Götz and tin-top legend Bernd Schneider. 

The combination of youth and experience worked to perfection, earning Mercedes-AMG its first win in the Ardennes since 1964. It also ensured that Buhk became the youngest winner in the event's long history, a record he holds to this day. What's more, a major points haul at the 24 Hours gave the team a shot at the title. The trio won the Endurance decider at the Nürburgring and, having also scored a handful of points at Circuit Paul Ricard, Buhk was crowned series champion. 

In 2015 the HTP squad joined forces with Bentley, giving Buhk a rare spell away from the Mercedes-AMG ranks. It was a brief but successful relationship, with Buhk crowned Sprint Cup champion alongside Vince Abril. Back at the wheel of a Mercedes-AMG for 2016, there was more success to come. Though they narrowly missed out on both the Sprint and Endurance crowns, Buhk and Baumann collected the overall series title. 

Whether running a full campaign or acting as a star addition for Spa, Buhk remained a regular in the Endurance Cup. In total he scored eight podiums in the long-distance championship, three of which were wins, and was fourth overall at this year's TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa. In the Sprint Cup he bagged 12 victories, a number only bettered by the Vanthoor brothers. He has also been a regular for Mercedes-AMG in Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli, narrowly missing out on the 2019 drivers' crown. 

Outside SRO competition, Buhk drove Mercedes-AMG equipment in every possible series, including ADAC GT Masters, DTM and IMSA. Recently married and the father to a newborn baby girl, he has taken the decision to step away from competition at the age of just 29. When the time comes to tell his daughter about his career behind the wheel, he can do so with immense pride.