Alex Wurz has announced that he will retire from driving at the end of the 2015 season after a career spanning more than 20 years.
Wurz, who was a world BMX champion before taking up motorsport, enjoyed spells in Formula Ford, Formula Three and DTM before moving into sports cars. He won two 24 Hours of Le Mans in his career, the first coming in 1996 with the Joest-run Porsche team - earning him the accolade of the race's youngest ever winner, a record which still stands.
The following year he made his F1 début, starting three races for Benetton deputising for compatriot Gerhard Berger. Although he only finished one of those races, he earned a podium finish there, earning him a full time seat for 1998.
The Austrian earned a further two podiums in Formula One before walking away from Grand Prix racing in 2007 after 69 starts with McLaren and Williams as well as Benetton.
A fruitful return to sports car racing, initially with Peugeot then Toyota, came after F1. He set another Le Mans record with the longest gap between wins after his 2009 triumph in the French classic. He also won another Petit Le Mans, and the 1000km of Spa as well as taking victories in Sao Paulo, Fuji, Shanghai, and Bahrain during his second endurance racing spell.
In a statement on his official website, Wurz said: "I’ve enjoyed half of my lifetime competing at the top of motorsport and another quarter of it working my way up there, so I feel the time is right to call it a day and bring my career as a professional racing driver to a close."
"I’ve a lot to be grateful for and a lot I’m proud of," he added. "My two Le Mans wins will always be the most special and unforgettable, along with the Silverstone podium in my 3rd Formula 1 race."
Although Wurz's driving career will be coming to an end after this month's Six Hours of Bahrain, the 41-year-old insists that his motorsport career will continue after he hangs up his helmet.
"My future will still evolve around racing, its in my blood after all," he said. "Anyone who knows me, knows that I always have lots of projects on the go which includes growing my road safety and race track design business."
Image: Toyota Gazoo Racing