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Reinhold Joest

Full Name:
Reinhold Jost
24th April 1937 (Age 83)
Ober-Abtsteinach, Hesse
Most recent race (in database):

As well as being one of the most successful sports car team owners of recent times, Reinhold Joest was also an accomplished driver from 1962 to 1982. He drove a Porsche on the Eberbach hillclimb in 1962 and was twice crowned National Champion by the time he switched to circuit racing later that decade.

Increasing commitment to endurance racing was rewarded with a class win in the 1966 Nürburgring 1000Kms with a Lufthansa-sponsored Porsche 356B 1600. He partnered Helmut Kelleners in a private Ford GT40 during 1969 and placings included fourth at Monza, fifth at Watkins Glen and sixth at the Nürburgring and on his debut in the Le Mans 24 Hours. He was a member of the works Martini Porsche team at Le Mans in 1971 but retired with engine failure.

Joest Racing

He turned owner/driver in 1972 and steered a Porsche 908/3 into second-place in the Monza 1000Kms. Joined by Michel Weber and Mario Casoni for that year’s Le Mans in a semi-works long-tail 908/3 Coupé, the Siffert ATE Racing-entry finished third.

Success in German Championship and Interserie events followed and he shared the second-placed Porsche 908/3 in the 1975 Monza 1000Kms with Casoni. He then beat a small field at the Nürburgring to win the opening round of the new World Championship for Sportscars in 1976 when driving alone.

Title success in the European Sportscar Championship and Interserie came in successive seasons. Joest also finished third in the 1977 Daytona 24 Hours with a Kremer Brothers Porsche 935 and he was invited to join the works team for the 1978 Le Mans 24 Hours when third again in Peter Gregg and Hurley Haywood’s Porsche 936.

It was another winning year for Joest Racing in 1979. His Liqui Moly-sponsored Porsche 908s may now have been a 10-year-old design but he won at both Dijon-Prenois and Brands Hatch. He entered a more modern and self-built Porsche 935J for the 1980 Daytona 24 Hours and Joest scored his highest profile victory as a driver when sharing with Volkert Merl and star turn Rolf Stommelen.

For all of his consistent success, victory at Le Mans would remain elusive. Back in the works team that year when partnered by another star – Jacky Ickx – he finished in a career-best second. Winner of the non-championship 1981 Kyalami Nine Hours with Jochen Mass, he raced for the last time in 1982.

Subsequent success

He may have been frustrated as a driver at Le Mans but Joest Racing had won the race 13 times at the time of writing with Porsche 956, TWR-Porsche WSC-95 and most recently the all-conquering Audis.