Louis Krages (alias John Winter) has committed suicide in Atlanta, Georgia. A shotgun was apparently involved.
He had the unique record of only winning two major races - the Daytona and Le Mans 24 Hour events. His Florida victory came in 1991, driving the Joest 962 with Frank Jelinski / Henri Pescarolo / Hurley Haywood and Bob Wollek.
He was victorious at Le Mans six years earlier, when it has to be said that his co-drivers carried out the bulk of the work. Klaus Ludwig and Paolo Barilla came home three laps ahead of Palmer / Weaver / Lloyd in the Canon Porsche - now there?s a link to the present, with Weaver currently driving the Lloyd-prepared Bentley.
if his real name is well known then his mum will know that he went motor racing?
remember the program describing him as "John Winter". He was the only driver with quotes around his name. I recognized that a year later there and later at Watkins Glen too.
You`re right Emma; Who is he?
24 and the Rolex (90 and 91), he was a mystery because the racing program described him as the only guy with "Quotes" around his name. I just assumed he was a German who was Anglicizing his name. It`s good to finally find out who he was, as it was always a curio at the time.
From the Atlanta Journal, Fri 1/19: Louis Krages, race car driver, toy manufacturer by Kay Powell "John Winter" professionally to hide his career from his prestigious West German family. When he won the Le Mans 24 Hour race in 1985, the international coverage meant there was no more hiding what he did for a living. Mr. Krages, who also won the Daytona 24 Hours in 1991, preferred driving Porsches but switched to Mercedes-Benzes before his 1995 retirement. The memorial service for Mr. Krages, 51, of Atlanta, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound Jan. 11, was today at H.M. Patterson & Son, Ogletherpe Hill. The body was cremated. Having fallen in love with the area when he raced at Road Atlanta, Mr. Krages chose to retire in Atlanta and started Evertoys Inc. three years ago, said his companion, Louise Dodd Peck. The new business, which makes miniature wooden vehicles, combined his career and his family`s background, explained his friend Rickman Brown of Buckhead. "He came from a very venerable and very revered German family," said Mr. Brown. "He literally grew up in a castle." The family`s fortune was based on timber holdings, but Mr. Krages found racing more exhilerating than lumber. For Mr. Krages, "At night in the rain on the Mulsanne Straight going 250 miles per hour was the single most exciting part of racing," said Mr. Brown. The Mulsanne straight of Le Mans is the fastest stretch of any closed race course.Facing a new generation of racing stars when he turned 45, Mr. Krages sold the family timber business and retired but never got racing out of his system. "He missed it terribly," said Ms. Peck. He drove promotional races at Atlanta Motor Speedway and enjoyed driving go-carts for hours. A man who loved games and the good life, Mr. Krages founded his company to make wooden cars, trucks and golf carts that are used as corporate gifts. The 8-inch vehicles, crafted of bird`s-eye maple, walnut, rosewood and cherry, are assembled at the company`s local warehouse. "They are minimalist sort of Bauhaus design," said Mr. Brown. "They sort of are a combination of art object and toy." Evertoys first were bought by decorators and now can be fashioned with a company`s logo for gifts and promotional items. "He was a very affable guy with an easy way," said Mr. Brown. "He was dignified without arrogance. He loved to play golf and squash and dine out with friends." And, as Mr. Brown accompanied Mr. Krages to races at Daytona and Sebring, Fla., "They treated him like returning royalty," said his friend. Survivors include three daughters, Nina Krages and Katinka Krages, both of Hanover, Germany, and Tessa Krages of Hamburg, Germany; and a son, Louis Krages of Hamburg.