Joey Hand is an American racing driver who achieved the most in the sports car racing, scoring the victories in three world's greatest endurance races - 24h Daytona, 12h Sebring and 24h Le Mans. That were not all overall wins but also class wins, so we can't say that he won the so-called Triple Crown of endurance racing but could be awarded with a 'little Triple Crown'.
In 2011, he scored an outright win at Daytona 24h with Chip Ganassi Racing's Riley-BMW prototype. For two years in a row, in 2011 and 2012, Hand was the GT class winner at 12 hours of Sebring, driving the BMW M3 GT2 for BMW Team RLL. Finally, in 2016, he reached top podium spot in GT class at 24h Le Mans, driving Ford GT for Chip Ganassi Racing. One more Daytona class win followed in 2017, in the cockpit of Ford GT.
Early in a career, until 2003, Hand participated in single-seater competitions, being the best in the 2001 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship, when he finished in the third place. Between 2012 and 2014, he spent three seasons in the DTM, driving for BMW, but without notable results.
First best rookie, then Star Mazda champion
Joey Hand was born on February 10, 1979, in Sacramento, California. He began his career in kart racing at the age of 12. After seven years in karting competitions and spritn cars, he moved up to the Star Mazda West Coast Series in 1998. In his debut season, Hand was the best rookie in the series. Next year, Joey won the championship despite missing a part of the season because of an injury.
That injury sidelined him from a race track in 2000. He returned late in the 2000 season, participating in one race of the Barber Dodge Pro Series and four races of the Formula Palmer Audi Winter Series.
Three seasons in the Toyota Atlantic Championship
Joey returned to full-time racing in 2001, entering the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship with DSTP Motorsports.
His first season in the Toyota Atlantic Championship was the best one, as he won two races and finished third in the points. In the next two seasons, he scored no wins, only two podiums, to finish 12th in 2002 and 7th in 2003.
Focusing on sports car racing since 2004
From 2004, Hand focused on sports car racing career. He tried GT car for the first time in 2001, participating at Sebring 12h with Prototype Technology Group's BMW M3 GTR, not finishing the race. In 2004, he returned to the team as PTG's full-time driver.
In 2004, Hand participated in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, sharing the #22 BMW M3 GT with Justin Marks and Boris Said. The highlight of the season was a class victory for Hand/Said at Watkins Glen. At the end of the season, Hand finished 8th in the final standings of GT class.
During 2004, Hand had two occasional appearances in the Formula BMW USA and Toyota Atlantic Championship. After that, he never returned to formula racing.
Four Rolex Series wins in 2005
In the 2005 Rolex Series season, Hand improved his results, scoring four GT class wins and finishing fifth in the points. Hand scored four wins with three different BMWs and three different co-drivers: Bill Auberlen, Ian James and Justin Marks.
In 2006, Hand was combining driving duties with BMW Team PTG in the American Le Mans Series and with Matt Connolly Motorsports in the Grand-Am Rolex Series, racing with BMW M3 in both competitions. He was more successful in the ALMS, scoring three GT2 class podiums to finish sixth in the points. His co-driver was Bill Auberlen.
No luck with Panoz Esperante
In 2007, Team PTG switched to Panoz, running the Panoz Esperante GTLM in the American Le Mans Series. It wasn't so successful effort, so Hand and Auberlen scored only one podium in ten races to finish 22nd in GT2 classification.
During the season, Hand occasionally competed with three more teams in three different competitions (Grand-Am Rolex Series, Grand-Am Koni Challenge, SCCA World Challenge), including Daytona 24h with Howard Motorsports' Infiniti G35.
Driving a Daytona Prototype in 2008 season
In 2008, Hand participated in four ALMS races with Panoz Team PTG, but his main job was to drive #23 Crawford DP03-Porsche prototype for Alex Job Racing in the premier DP class of the Rolex Sports Car Series.
Bill Auberlen moved to AJR together with Hand. In fourteen races, they scored two podiums to finish 13th in the points.
Back to BMW M3 in 2009
In 2009, Joey Hand returned to the cockpit of BMW M3, participating both in the GT2 class of the American Le Mans Series with Rahal Letterman Racing and in the GS class of the Grand-Am Koni Challenge with Turner Motorsport.
Hand scored one victory in each of two championships, finishing in the 14th place in both competitions. Hand's ALMS co-driver was his longstanding partner Bill Auberlen. They won a race at Road America.
Double programme with Turner Motorsport
In 2010, Hand continued to drive for Turner Motorsport both in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge and Grand-Am Rolex Series, including Daytona 24h. At biggest American endurance race, Hand was driving the #94 BMW M6 together with Bill Auberlen, Boris Said and Paul Dalla Lana. They finished 15th overall and 8th in GT class.
Later in the season, hand scored one win (Mid-Ohio) to finish 16th in the points. He was more successful with Turner's BMW M3 in the Sports Car Challenge, winning two races and finishing second in GS class, together with teammate Michael Marsal.
One ALMS victory in 2010
While competing with Turner Motorsport in two championships, Hand was also driving BMW M3 for Rahal Letterman Racing in the American Le Mans Series. With one victory, he finished 9th in the points of the GT2 class. He was the winner at Road America, sharing the #90 car with Dirk Muller.
But, that wasn't all, because Hand also had a one-off appearance with Starworks Motorsport's Riley-BMW prototype, joining the team at Grand-Am Virginia race.
The season 2011 was fantastic year for Joey
The season 2011 became one of the most successful years in Joey Hand's career. That year, he was the outright winner at Daytona 24h, American Le Mans champion and Sebring 12h winner in GT2 class and scored his first class podium at Le Mans 24h.
Besides all that, he traveled to Australia to participated for the first time at V8 Supercars races, driving Ford FG Falcon for Dick Johnson Racing at Gold Coast 600.
2011 Daytona 24 hours victory with CGR prototype
The season started with Rolex 24 at Daytona, where Hand was a member of the #01 crew in the Riley-BMW prototype of Chip Ganassi Racing. His co-drivers were Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas and Graham Rahal. They won the race, a couple of seconds ahead of another CGR #02 prototype.
The race was a part of the Grand-Am Rolex Series and it was Joey's only race with prototype car that year. For the rest of the season, he participated in three more Grand-Am races with Turner Motorsport's BMW M6, scoring one podium.
2011 - Sebring 12h victory and ALMS GT title
Another great victory followed in March 2011 at Sebring International Raceway. Joey Hand, Andy Priaulx and Dirk Muller were driving BMW Motorsport's #56 BMW M3. Finishing tenth overall, they won the GT class, beating the #55 car of the same team.
Later in the season, Hand competed full ALMS season with BMW Team RLL, scoring two more wins (Long Beach, Lime Rock) and becoming the GT class champion, together with Dirk Muller.
Class podium for Hand in Le Mans debut
In June 2011, Joey Hand participated for the first time at 24 hours of Le Mans and he nearly missed his third great victory in the same season. Sharing the #56 BMW M3 GT2 with Andy Priaulx and Dirk Muller, Hand finished third in GTE Pro class, a lap behind the winners in the Chevrolet Corvette C6.R.
One more class win at Sebring
For the 2012 season, Hand was recruited to drive for BMW in the DTM. Before DTM season started, he participated in two greatest American endurance races. At Daytona, he rejoined Chip Ganassi Racing in the #01 Riley-BMW, with the same co-drivers as the year before. This time, they finished in the sixth place.
At Sebring 12 hours, the #56 crew of BMW Team RLL scored a back-to-back victory with BMW M3 GT. Hand's co-drivers were Dirk Muller and Jonathan Summerton. It remained Joey's only win in the 2012 ALMS season. He participated in seven races, finishing 7th in the points.
No wins or podiums in three DTM seasons
In his first DTM season, Joey Hand was driving the #2 BMW M3 for Team RMG, alongside defending champion Martin Tomczyk in the #1 car. Hand's best result was the 8th place at season's finale at Hockenheimring. He finished in the 20th place in the 22-driver field.
The 2013 DTM season was more successful for Hand, who was driving the #8 BMW, as he scored points in five races, finishing 12th in the final standings. His best result was 5th place at Brands Hatch. In 2014, he was again on the bottom of classification, finishing 20th in the points with 7th place at Norisring as the best result.
Daytona and Sebring podiums in 2014
While competing in the DTM, Hand continued to drive for BMW Team RLL in the American Le Mans Series, scoring two podiums in 2013 with BMW Z4 GTE but also participated in two Rolex Series races with Chip Ganassi Racing (Daytona 24h, Indianapolis 3h).
In the 2014 United SportsCar Championship, Hand participated in just three races with BMW Team RLL, scoring two podiums. At Daytona 24h, he was second in GTLM class, sharing the #55 BMW Z4 GTE with Bill Auberlen, Andy Priaulx and Maxime Martin. At Sebring 12h, Auberlen/Priaulx/Hand finished third in GTLM class.
2015 - full season with Chip Ganassi Racing's prototype
After occasional appearances with Chip Ganassi Racing in the previous years, Joey Hand joined CGR as a full-time driver for the 2015 IMSA SportsCar Championship season, to drive the #01 Riley-Ford prototype. His full-time co-driver was Scott Pruett.
After not finishing Daytona 24h race and finishing in the 4th place at Sebring, they won at Circuit of the Americas and added four more podiums to finish fourth in the championship standings.
Victorious return to Le Mans with Ford GT
In 2016, Joey Hand stayed with Chip Ganassi Racing but the team switched to all-new Ford GT. Hand spent a full season in the #66 car, participating in eleven races of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. His full-time co-driver was Dirk Muller. With three podiums, they finished sixth in the points of GTLM class.
Hand's only race outside America was the 24 hours of Le Mans in June 2016. Ford's return to Le Mans was victorious, as the #68 car took the GTE Pro class victory, beating Risi Competizione's Ferrari and #69 Ford GT. Alongside Hand, the race winners were Dirk Muller and Sebastien Bourdais.
Daytona win for the start of 2017 season
For the 2017 IMSA season, Hand stayed in the #66 Ford GT, starting a season with his second in a career GT class victory at Rolex 24 at Daytona. The winning crew was the same as at 2016 Le Mans: Joey Hand, Dirk Muller and Sebastien Bourdais.