In the mid-1980s a privateer team pulled off a remarkable feat in winning the classic Le Mans 24 Hours race two years running. Joest Racing was the team and its Porsche 956, backed by jeans company NEW MAN, proudly carried BP stickers.
In 1984 the 956, driven by German star Klaus Ludwig and French legend Henri Pescarolo, took the victory. It was Pescarolo’s fourth win of four from a remarkable 34 starts and Ludwig’s second of three wins. The car was the first of seven 956s across the line. Fifth was the second Joest NEW MAN car, driven by Dieter Schornstein, Volkert Merl and ‘John Winter’.
The factory Porsche team had boycotted the event in ’84 after a rules dispute, but it was back the following year, and beaten by Joest. Ludwig led the driving squad again in 1985, and this time the Joest Racing 956B was co-driven by Italian Paolo Barilla and ‘Winter’ (the pseudonym of gentleman racer Louis Krages). The best works Porsche 962C, driven by Hans-Joachim Stuck and Derek Bell, was only third.