F1Weekly podcast # 797


MARC SURER made his Formula 1 debut for Ensign at the end of the 1979 season, then broke his ankles when he crashed an ATS at Kyalami the following spring while testing for the South African Grand Prix. He started 1981 by driving for Ensign and coming fourth in the Brazilian Grand Prix, but then suffered more leg injuries when he crashed – again at Kyalami. It was a tough blow but Surer fought back again and drove for Arrows from 1982 until the end of 1984.

He was hired to drive for the Brabham-BMW squad in 1985. That year he also won the Spa 24 Hours, sharing a Schnitzer BMW 635CSi with Gerhard Berger and Roberto Ravaglia. In 1986 he was transferred back to Arrows but his professional racing career ended soon afterwards when he crashed his own Ford RS200 on the Hessen Rally in Germany. The accident cost the life of his co-driver and Surer suffered terrible injuries and burns.In 1988 however BMW took him on to be an instructor in its driver training programme and he started his career as a TV commentator with the DRS channel in Switzerland. In 1991 he was appointed head of BMW Motorsport and in 1994 and 1995 Johnny Cecotto and Jo Winkelhock won the German Super Touring Car Championship for BMW. In 1996 he began commentating for the German TV station DF1 and in 1997 became the host of his own programme on Swiss TV. He remains a TV presenter and racing school instructor.

Highs and lows in Marc’s F1 career

83 Grand Prix 185 Points (new count system)
Best grid positions: 5th in Detroit in 1983 and Kyalami in 1985
Fastest lap: Rio with Ensign-Ford in the rain
Best finishes: 4th in Rio in 1981 and in Monza in 1985

The most disappointing races:
Crash with Warwick on 3rd Position in Monaco 1983
Retiring on 2nd spot in Brands Hatch 1985
Retiring on the way to 3rd place in Adelaide 1985

The early years: From Karting to Formula 2 Champion

Year – Category – Race Car
1972 – Swiss Karting Champion, B category – Swiss Hutless BM
1973 – Champion Formel K – Swiss Hutless BM
1974 – Runner-up German Formula Vee Championship – Fuchs/Motul FV
1975 – 3rd in Central European Formula Vee – Karringer FV
1976 – Runner-up in German Formula 3 Championship – March/Chevron BMW
1976 – 5th in European Formula 3 Championship – Chevron BMW
1977 – Member of the BMW Junior Team – BMW 320 Gr. 5
1978 – Runner-up in European Formula 2 Championship – March BMW 782
1978 – wins Suzuka F2-race in Japan & Mendoza Argentina – March BMW 782
1979 – European Formula 2 Champion – March BMW 792

1980 – 1987: F 1, Rally, Sports and Touring Cars

Year – Category – Race Car
1980 – Formula 1: 7th place in São Paulo / broken legs in a crash at Kyalami – ATS Ford
1981 – Formula 1: 4th in Rio and fastest lap in the race, 6th in Monaco – Ensign & Theodor Ford
1982 – Formula 1: 5th in Montreal, 6th in Hockenheim – Arrows Ford
1983 – Formula 1: 6th in Rio, 5th in Long Beach, 6th in Imola – Arrows Ford
1984 – Formula 1: 6th in Zeltweg – Arrows Ford / BMW
1984 – Rally: 3rd at Rally du Valais, runner-up at Ahrweiler Rally – Renault R5 Turbo
1985 – Formula 1: 6th in Silverstone, 6th in Zeltweg, 4th in Monza – Brabham BMW
1985 – Sportscar: Wins 1000 kilometre race in Monza – Porsche 962
1985 – Touring Car: Wins the 24 hours race of Spa-Francochamps – BMW 635
1986 – Formula 1 – Arrows BMW
1986 – Rally: Crashing heavily at Hessen Rally – Ford RS 200 Gr. B
1987 – Retires from active motor racing as a consequence of his rally accident (Video crash)

Play Podcast: 07-23-19f1weekly797.mp3