CREVENTIC is very sorry to learn that Matthias Stadler, founder of the Hankook 24H DUBAI-winning Stadler Motorsport, has passed away.
Greatly respected as a team principal, Matthias, born in Switzerland in 1948, actually began his motorsport tenure as a driver of touring cars in 1975 before moving into a three-season spell in Formula 3. From 1995 onwards though, having prioritized team management over driving, Matthias Stadler’s successes on-track have since been synonymous with the team that still bears his name today.
In 1992, Switzerland’s Enzo Calderari secured the Porsche Carrera Trophy at the wheel of a Stadler Motorsport 964 Carrera Cup, compatriot Sandro Angelastri bringing yet more silverware the following year in the Carrera Alpine Cup. Arguably the team’s first major international outing was the 1994 24 Hours of Le Mans, at which Stadler Motorsport – run under the Écurie Biennoise banner – finished 2nd in the LMGT2 class with Calderari once again on driver detail alongside Lilian Bryner and Renato Mastropietro. The Swiss team looked set to go one better the following year, only for the class-leading Stadler Motorsport 911 GT2 to be taken in an accident on the approach to half-distance (an entry was lodged for the ’96 event, 911 GT2 was pulled before the race got underway). Overall victory in that year’s Porsche Cup with Calderari and Bryner, plus a runners-up spot for the duo in the 1995 BPR Global GT Series helped ease the frustration.
Stateside, Stadler Motorsport would reap the rewards for their endurance racing efforts by securing class wins at Daytona’s eminent event in both 1995 and 1996 (5th and 4th overall respectively) as well as 3rd place at the vaunted Sebring 12 Hours in 1997.
Across in the 24H SERIES, Stadler Motorsport is most famous for securing outright victory at the 2014 24H DUBAI with a Porsche 997 GT3 R, despite starting 13th! It seemed only fitting that a car bearing the name of Matthias Stadler, a Porsche customer racing aficionado since 1981, should break the record for the most outright wins of any manufacturer at the 24H DUBAI. To-date, no brand has bested the Stuttgart brand’s event benchmark of five wins.
Though Stadler would follow up its win in Dubai with 2nd place at the next round in Mugello, it wasn’t until this year’s Hankook 12H MUGELLO that Stadler Motorsport finally made its return to the 24H SERIES, with Matthias’ son Christof now at the helm. Sadly, though the team had been battling for a 991-class podium finish, a collision not of the team’s making meant Stadler Motorsport was forced to retire after five hours of competitive running.
CREVENTIC sends its heart-felt condolences to Matthias Sadler’s family.