Thursday, October 6, 2011

R.I.P. Jaroslav Juhan - Porsche factory race driver

Hey Guys

Stuttgart. Dr. Ing h.c. F. Porsche AG is mourning the death of former factory racer, on 28 September 2011 Jaroslav "Jerry" Juhan died at the age of 89 years. In the fifties, he was instrumental in making the brand Porsche announced at the South American continent.

Vaclav Jaroslav Juhan was born on 13 October 1921 in Prague, where he spent his teenage years. After the end of the Second World War he took part in car races and was an importer of Italian cars and buses. In 1951 he left his homeland for political infighting. He emigrated to the Republic of Guatemala - where he built an automobile import for various Italian brands.

In 1953 Juhan became an official importer of Porsche sports cars. To make the Porsche brand among young South African automotive enthusiasts known, decided to participate Jaroslav Juhan on the Type 356 car race. With a Porsche 356 1500 Super 1953 in Guatemala, he went to the "Carrera de Pacifico" at the start. He won this race right away and ordered out two copies of the new 550 Spyder racing car. In 1953 he started at the "Carrera Panamericana" in Mexico and took over on the second stretch the lead in the 1.6-liter sports car class. In a promising position but had to give up Jaroslav Juhan on the seventh section with a technical defect.

A year later, Juhan went again as a Porsche factory driver at the "Carrera Panamericana" at the start. Over the entire race developed into a duel between him and Hans Herrmann, who was considered the top driver of the factory teams. After 3077 kilometers, Hans Herrmann and Jaroslav Juhan walked a distance of only 36 seconds as a double-winner over the finish line. This success inspired Ferry Porsche, in the future to provide all equipped with the engine camshaft four victorious Porsche sports car with the name "Carrera". On the "Carrera Panamericana" in 1954 was followed by the 1,000 km race from Buenos Aires, Juhan also graduated as the class winner and fourth overall. As a member of the team work Jaroslav Juhan 1955 was also at the 24 Hours of Le Mans at the start. Together with a helmet Gloeckler, he ended the French endurance classic on the 6th Rank.

Jaroslav Juhan at 550 Spyder in Buenos Aires (1000 km) 1955, 1st Place in the sports car class up to 1500 cc, 4 Place overall
Despite these impressive achievements of Jaroslav Juhan was always an amateur in his own words, who took part in races in order to sell the car in connection better. Its automotive trade flourished in Guatemala, but the increasingly unstable political situation developed into an ever greater risk. Jaroslav Juhan 1961 left his wife Denise and Guatemala and settled in Switzerland. As a businessman, Juhan had since worked in various fields. The contact with Porsche and other racers never ripped from his life. In many races Jaroslav Juhan was a welcome guest to the particular habit Ferry Porsche and Huschke von Hanstein good contact. No wonder he's Porsche on the road remained faithful: Well into old age Jaroslav Juhan drove a Porsche 928 S4.


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