Reinhold Joest. A man defined by success

  • 27 September 2023
  • 3 min read
  • 4 images
Reinhold Joest. A man defined by success image

Photo credit: Audi, Joest Racing, Wheelsage

As we’ve seen with the most victorious racing teams, like Roger Penske, they often have a creator and leader who has first-hand experience as a driver. Wasn’t this the case for Enzo Ferrari back in the 1930s?

The story of Joest Racing, originally founded in 1968 as a Porsche customer team and quickly achieving remarkable results under the guidance of driver and founder Reinhold Joest, certainly confirms this pattern. Class victories at the Nürburgring 1000 km, consistent podium finishes at Le Mans, the 1978 Sports Prototype Championship win with the 908/3, and the 1980 Daytona 24 Hours victory all serve as impressive credentials.

1Reinhold Joest, first a Porsche driver, later became the all-time most successful team owner at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with 15 victories.

1981 marked Reinhold Joest’s final year as a racing driver, and he bid farewell to the track in style with a win at the Kyalami 9 Hours alongside Jochen Mass in a Porsche 936.

From that point forward, Joest Racing played a strategic role in supporting manufacturers. This included their involvement in the DRM Championship with driver Bob Wollek in ‘82 and ‘83 as well as their participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1984 and 1985 with Klaus Ludwig, Henri Pescarolo, Paolo Barilla, and German businessman Louis Krages in Porsches. Joest then transitioned to Opel for the DTM and ITC Championships, securing a championship win in 1996.

2The first two Team Joest victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1984 and 1985 both came with the Porsche 956 in the famous New-Man livery.

The outstanding professionalism of this racing team laid the foundation for their focus on the coveted and complex 24 Hours of Le Mans, where they fielded the TWR-Porsche that won in 1996 and 1997.

3The winning streak continues with TWR Porsche winning at Le Mans in 1996 and 1997.

Joest Racing has solidified their status as a trusted and respected name, thanks to the passion and astute vision of Reinhold Joest, who possessed an intimate understanding of the sport, having been a driver himself. Reinhold Joest combined this with a critical skill: the ability to win with a diverse array of cars. This culminated in 1999 when Audi chose to collaborate with Joest for their Le Mans debut, resulting in 13 overall victories at the French marathon and four WEC titles. Today, this is not just history, it’s an ever-evolving narrative with new chapters, including the successes of Mazda in the IMSA American Championship and the double podium at Sebring and Le Mans in 2022 with Glickenhaus.

4The best moment came in 1999 when Audi Sport chose Team Joest to debut at Le Mans. The partnership would last 18 years with 13 overall victories at the 24h.