Reinhold Joest achieved a rare feat: the transition from successful racing driver to even more successful team-owner.
Reinhold Joest’s career begins with a Porsche 75S at the Hill Climb Eberbach in 1962. Predominantly racing in hill climbs until 1967 Reinhold Joest took two German championship titles. Slowly changing over to road racing Reinhold Joest continued successful. Winning in class at the 1000km Nürburgring in 1966 was the first significant victory.
Reinhold Joest managed two overall wins in 1970 and 1980, respectively, at the 1000km Nürburgring, which was raced on the world’s most difficult circuit, the Nordschleife, and a further six victories in class.
1972 turned out to be another significant year for Reinhold Joest. Having achieved a second position in a 43-cars-strong field at Monza and an equally outstanding performance at Watkins Glen the driver from the Odenwald received an invitation to start in the 500km of Interlagos in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Reinhold Joest dominated the race and took the victory with a substantial lead. Following this very successful season he went into the 1973 season continuing to race his Porsche 908/03 achieving several good results finishing second twice at the Nürburgring. In the following years, Reinhold Joest managed to shine on a number of occasions with several impressive podium finishes.
On the back of his achievements Reinhold Joest was called into the Porsche works team and as such recorded numerous successes. His dream of winning the 24 Le Mans as a driver evaded him, though. He finished third on his Ford GT in 1969 and again in 1972 on a Porsche 908/03 long-tail. In 1978 and 1980 he finished second overall driving a Porsche 936. Yet he managed to win the Interserie championship, several races of the sports car world championship and the 24h Daytona in 1980.
Reinhold Joest’s racing career ended on a lucky note by winning his last race, the 9h Kyalami in South-Africa at the end of 1981, sharing his car with Jochen Mass. Only few racing drivers manage to bid farewell with a victory.
Later on and as a team-boss, Reinhold Joest managed to realize his dream of winning at the 24h Le Mans more than a dozen times.