Louis Krages
Born
Klaus Louis Kragés

(1949-08-02)2 August 1949
Died11 January 2001(2001-01-11) (aged 51)
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
NationalityGermany German
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Years19781979, 19841986, 19981991, 1993
TeamsPorsche Kremer Racing
Joest Racing
Best finish1st (1985)
Class wins1 (1985)
The '24h of Le Mans 1985' winning Joest-Porsche 956C of Ludwig, Barilla and "Winter"
The '24h of Le Mans 1985' winning Joest-Porsche 956C of Ludwig, Barilla and "Winter"
John Winter - Opel Team Joest - Opel Calibra V6 exits The Esses, 1994 DTM Donington Park.
John Winter - Opel Team Joest - Opel Calibra V6 exits The Esses, 1994 DTM Donington Park.

Louis Krages, more commonly known by his pseudonym John Winter, (2 August 1949 – 11 January 2001) was a German racing driver and businessman.

Career

Krages used the racing pseudonym "John Winter" to prevent his family, mainly his mother, from learning about his "hobby". As John Winter, he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1985 with the Porsche 956 of Joest Racing, with Klaus Ludwig and Paolo Barilla. Winter drove a single stint in the early hours of Sunday in support of his teammates. After the success and the publicity involved, his alter ego was revealed to his family when, the next day, his mother picked up a newspaper, with a picture of Krages on the rostrum.

Winter spent many seasons competing in the German Interserie series, usually racing privately entered Porsches, taking the title in 1986. Winter was also a regular entrant at Le Mans, competing 10 times at the race. Apart from his victory, his best finish was third in a Joest Racing Porsche 962 in 1988. He would also win the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1991 for Joest in the same car and also drove in the IMSA GTP until 1993 when the series ended, making the car obsolete.

In 1994, Winter, along with the team, defected to DTM, driving an Opel Calibra. In Round 10, Race 1 at AVUS, he was involved in fiery accident, in which his car disintegrated in a fireball. For the following year, driving a privateer Mercedes-Benz C-Class, he reverted to his real name, which he competed throughout the season and which was also his last.

Krages sold off his business and emigrated to Atlanta where he started up a toy business.[1]

In 2001, suffering from problems in his business and from depression, he committed suicide in Atlanta, Georgia, by shooting himself,[2][better source needed] at his home.

Racing record

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1978 West Germany Porsche Kremer Racing West Germany Dieter Schornstein
France Philippe Gurdjian
Porsche 935-77 Gr.5
SP
182 N/C*
1979 West Germany Porsche Kremer Racing West Germany Axel Plankenhorn
France Philippe Gurdjian
Porsche 935-K3 Gr.5
SP
273 13th 5th
1984 West Germany New-Man Joest Racing
West Germany Schornstein Racing Team
West Germany Volkert Merl
West Germany Dieter Schornstein
Porsche 956 C1 340 5th 5th
1985 Germany New-Man Joest Racing Germany Klaus Ludwig
Italy Paolo Barilla
Porsche 956B C1 374 1st 1st
1986 Germany Joest Racing Germany Klaus Ludwig
Italy Paolo Barilla
Porsche 956B C1 196 DNF
(Engine)
1988 Germany Blaupunkt Joest Racing Germany Frank Jelinski
Sweden Stanley Dickens
Porsche 962C C1 385 3rd 3rd
1989 Germany Joest Racing Germany Frank Jelinski
France Pierre-Henri Raphanel
Porsche 962C C1 124 DNF
(Water leak)
1990 Germany Joest Porsche Racing Sweden Stanley Dickens
France Bob Wollek
Porsche 962C C1 346 8th 8th
1991 Austria Konrad Motorsport
Germany Joest Porsche Racing
Germany Bernd Schneider
France Henri Pescarolo
Porsche 962C C2 197 DNF
(Overheating)
1993 Germany Joest Porsche Racing Germany Manuel Reuter
Germany Frank Jelinski
Porsche 962C C2 282 DNF
(Engine)

Complete 12 Hours of Sebring results

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1986 Germany Joest Racing Italy Giampiero Moretti
United States Randy Lanier
Porsche 962 GTP 10 DNF
(Engine)
1987 Germany Joest Racing South Africa Sarel van der Merwe
United States Danny Ongais
Porsche 962 GTP 281 4th 4th
1988 Germany Joest Racing Germany Frank Jelinski
Italy Paolo Barilla
Porsche 962 GTP 309 2nd 2nd
1990 Germany Joest Racing France Henri Pescarolo
France Bob Wollek
Porsche 962 GTP 261 11th 6th
1991 Germany Joest Porsche Racing Germany Frank Jelinski
France Henri Pescarolo
Porsche 962C GTP 295 4th 4th
1992 Germany Joest Racing Germany Bernd Schneider
Germany Frank Jelinski
Porsche 962 GTP 221 DNF
(Engine)
1993 Germany Joest Porsche Racing United States Chip Robinson
Germany Manuel Reuter
Porsche 962 GTP 180 DNF
(Accident)

Complete 24 Hours of Daytona results

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1978 Germany Kremer Porsche Racing Germany Josef Brambring
Germany Dieter Schornstein
Porsche 935-K2 GTX 635 5th 3rd
1991 Germany Joest Racing Germany Frank Jelinski
France Henri Pescarolo
United States Hurley Haywood
France Bob Wollek
Porsche 962 GTP 719 1st 1st
1992 Germany Joest Racing Germany Bernd Schneider
Italy Massimo Sigala
Argentina Oscar Larrauri
Porsche 962 GTP 327 DNF
(Engine)
1993 Germany Joest Porsche France Bob Wollek
Germany Manuel Reuter
Germany Frank Jelinski
Porsche 962 GTP 190 DNF
(Engine)

References

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-09-13. Retrieved 2009-10-08.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ www.roadstersway.com - John Winter