Touring car ace – and not-so-successful Formula 1 driver – Joachim Winkelhock is turning 51 years young today.
Nicknamed ‘Smoking Jo’ on account of his tremendous appetite for nicotine, Joachim was brother to the late Manfred Winkelhock (who also drove in F1) and uncle to one-time Grand Prix racer Markus Winkelhock.
After winning his native Formula 3 championship in 1988, the German contested a paltry seven Grands Prix with the AGS team in 1989, sadly failing to prequalify at every attempt.
Thereafter, he formed a close relationship with BMW in the field of touring cars, winning the 1990 and 1991 24 Hours Nürburgring and the 1993 British Touring Car Championship.
He went on to win the 1994 Asia Pacific Touring Car Championship and the German Supertouring Championship in 1995, as well as winning the 1995 Spa 24 Hours. His final major success came at the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans, where he co-piloted a BMW V12 LMR with Pierluigi Martini and Yannick Dalmas.
[Image via F1 Rejects]