Twenty nine year old, Porsche works driver, Timo Bernhard, from Dittweiler, Germany has been voted ADAC Racing Driver of the Year by a jury of experts. He is the first racing driver ever to win the world’s four major long-distance classics, thus bringing home a genuine Motorsport Grand Slam. Driving for the Porsche factory, Bernhard won the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2003, the Nürburgring 24-hour race four times in a row between 2006 and 2009, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in 2008 and, in an Audi, the Le Mans 24-hour race last June. Past winners in the 31-year history of the award include Walter Röhrl, Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel.
“This award means a lot to me. It’s the culmination of a very special motor racing season”, Timo Bernhard said.
“My first taste of motor racing was in the ADAC Kart Slalom championship in 1991. For me this was the perfect springboard as a young driver, because it was all about talent and not about budget.”
Other Bernhard career highlights include back-to-back American Le Mans Series LMP2 titles with Romain Dumas in the Penske Porsche RS Spyder 2007 – 2008), the youngest driver in history to win 24 Hours of Le Mans and Rolex 24 at Daytona in the same year (2002), the ALMS GT2 championship with a victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring (with Sascha Maassen) and five victories with Joerg Bergmeister (Mosport, Road America, Infineon Raceway, Petit Le Mans and Laguna Seca), and Porsche’s first overall ALMS win (with Dumas) in the Penske Porsche RS Spyder (2006).
The jury praised in particular Bernhard’s endurance, his strong sense of team play and his assertiveness in pursuit of numerous titles. According to the jury, these qualities make Bernhard an ideal sporting role model for young racing drivers. Bernhard won the title after a run-off with Formula 1 driver Nico Rosberg (25, Monaco).