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John Paul Jr., who won the 24 Hours of Daytona twice, dies – Motorsports

The American was one of the stars of the IMSA GTP Championship in the early 1980s, winning the 12 Hours of Sebring with Daytona in 1982, with his father John Paul Sr. and his family’s JLP racing team winning the series title.

He won his second 24-hour Blue Ribbon victory at Dyson Racing in 1997.

North America’s highest level stop-start career in single-seaters has resulted in two victories every 15 years. He won the CART race in VDS Racing in Michigan in 1983 and the IndyCar event in Bird in 1998 in Texas. Cunningham team.

Paul Junior’s career was interrupted in 1986 when he was sentenced to five years in prison for extortion.

His father was imprisoned for 13 years for drug trafficking and attempted murder.

The three starts of the 24 Hours of Le Mans ran with Jean Rondeau, who finished second best in 1984 on the Porsche 956 entered by Preston Heng and co-drived the car. ..

After starting racing in Formula Ford in the late 1970s, Paul Jr. followed his father in an IMSA-ranked sports car race.

He won his IMSA debut at Limerock by driving a Porsche 935K3 shared with his father, winning more at Road America and two more podiums at JLP.

In 1981, he had two more victories at the IMSA on the team’s new JLP-3 version, the 935. This car led Paul Jr. to victory at the beginning of the championship year with Daytona and Sebring.

He also claimed a total of nine IMSA victories during the season driving the 935, JLP-4, and more extreme versions of the Laura-Chevrolet T600.

After appearing in a one-off CART in 1982, Paul Jr embarked on a complete campaign using VDS on the Penske-Cosworth PC 10.

He overtook Penske driver Rick Mears on the final lap to win the Michigan 500 and also podiums at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, Riverside and Caesars Palace.

Paul Junior returned to the race in 1989 with both a sports car and a single-seater after serving in prison for more than two years.

Daytona’s second win with Dyson recorded a total of five IMSA wins between 1996 and 1997, shared by Ford-powered Riley & Scott MkIII with more than six other drivers. ..

Paul Junior has been an Indy500 regular since his comeback and reestablished his single-seater position with the founding of the Indy Racing League in 1996.

John Paul Junior

John Paul Junior

Photo: indyracing.com Photo: Ron McQueeney

He joined Bird Cunningham for the rest of the season after scoring a career-leading 7th place in Indy with Team Perfrey in 1998.

His campaign to drive the Oldsmobile-powered G-Force GF01B included two Top 6 finishes in addition to a victory at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Paul Junior retired from the cockpit in 2001 after being diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, a progressive neuropathy.

– Motorsports

John Paul Jr., who won the 24 Hours of Daytona twice, dies

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