Sepp Greger

4/2/1915 - 2/8/2010

Sepp Greger


Germany's sportscar legend, Joseph Greger, "Sepp" Greger as he was known, was a long-distance and hillclimb racer, driving mainly Porsche cars. Three-time winner of the European Hillclimb Championship, a successful businessman and a racing driver which career spanned over almost four decades, with more than 1200 starts, still active in vintage car events after turning his nineties. He was also known as a longtime organizer of the “Greger Racing Show” in Munich's Olympic Hall.

A native of Scheyern, Bayern, Sepp Greger had his debut as a motorcycle rider in German grass tracks, in late 1930s. After the World War II he started racing as a privateer, having opened several Porsche and Volkswagen car dealerships in Dachau, the town where he lived all his life, and in Munich. He took part in numerous rallies including the Rallye de Monte-Carlo. In 1956 he finished 4th of class, 23rd place overall, in the Mille Miglia race, with Paul Ernst Strähle in a 1.3-litre Porsche 356A. In 1957 he progressed to a Porsche 356 Carrera finishing 2nd in the AvD Rheinland-Pfalz Preis at the Nürburgring and 4th at the Wien Grand Prix at Aspern. In 1958 he was 3rd in the Flugplatzrennen, at Zeltweg and in 1959 he won at Innsbruck, was 2nd in the Solitude-Rennen and 4th at the Grosser Preis von Berlin, at the Berlin’s AVUS (Automobil-Verkehrs und Uebungs-Straße). In 1960 Greger won at Klagenfurt and in the ADAC Norisring-Rennen, a race which he also won in 1961 and 1963, finishing 2nd in 1962, behind Gerhard Koch and in 1965, behind Jochen Neerpasch.

Greger was hired by Porsche KG to drive in the World Sportscar Championship, mostly in the 1000 Km of the Nürburgring. Paired with Herbert Linge he drove a works Porsche-Abarth 356B Carrera in 1960, finishing 2nd of class, 7th place overall. The following year Greger and Linge scored a remarkable class win, 8th place overall, being their car also driven by Graham Hill and Stirling Moss in the last stages of the race, after their factory Porsche 718 RS60 was forced into a withdraw on 22nd lap, due to engine failure. In 1964 Greger was 3rd of class, 15th place overall, in a works Porsche 356B 2000 GS with Günther Klass as team mate. He obtained other class wins in that same race in 1966, sharing a Porsche 911 with Carl-Gregor Auer, 19th place overall, and in 1968, with Malte Huth in a Porsche 911T, 18th overall. He won races at Innsbruck in 1968, at Ulm-Laupheim in 1969 and at Kaufbeuren in 1970.

Above all, Sepp Greger was a talented hillclimb racer. He achieved a unique record of 236 class victories in European and national hillclimbs over 422 starts, finishing 380 times on the first three places. In 1964 Greger drove a Elva Mk7 sportscar, fitted with a Porsche engine, then a Porsche 904GTS, a Porsche 910 which he modified in the mid-1970s and his beloved car, a Porsche Carrera 6, plate number DAH-W 500 which he had purchased in 1966. He was declared six times the national champion and three times he won the European Mountain Championship: in 1968 he won the Sport class, driving the Porsche 906; in 1969 he won the GT class in a Porsche 911T and in 1973 the GT and Touring-car class, in a Porsche 911 Carrera RS.

He became a World Sportscar Championship regular, competing at Monza, Hockenheim, Nürburgring, Sebring and Daytona. In 1969 he shared a Porsche 910 with Ernst Kraus, and in 1970 he drove with his country-fellow Helmut Leuze a more performant 3-litre Porsche 908/02, finishing 8th in the 1000 Km of the Nürburgring. He scored another class win, 11th place overall, at the Nürburgring in 1971, driving with Rudi Lins his old Porsche 910. In 1973 he finished in a creditable 9th place in the 24 Hours of Daytona, driving a Porsche 911S entered by team Jöst Racing, with Kurt Hild and Dieter Schmid as co-drivers. He was still in the series nearly the age of 60, sharing a Porsche 911 Carrera RS with Eberhard Sindel. The pair finished 19th in the 1000 Km of Monza and 24th in the 1000 Km of the Nürburgring in 1974. It was not until 75 years of age that Sepp Greger withdrew permanently from active racing. In May of 2002 he partnered his old friend Paul Ernst Strähle at the Kitzbüheler Alpenrallye for historic.

Sepp Greger died a quiet death, aged 95, on 02 August 2010. He was married to Traudl, father of two sons, Joseph, Jr. who was born in 1964 and Andreas, in 1965, and grandfather to two grandchildren. He had been awarded the Silberne Lorbeerblatt (Silver Laurel Leaf), the highest sports prize in Germany, in 1970. The ADAC awarded him the "Goldene Sportabzeichen mit Brillanten" and in 2005, he won the "Bayerische Sportpreis - Sportliches Lebenswerk".  

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