Jörg Bergmeister is a German racing driver who achieved his best results in the sports car racing, driving mostly for Porsche.
Bergmeister recorded one GT class victory at 24 Hours of Le Mans, one overall victory and two GT class wins at Daytona 24 Hours, four GT class wins at Sebring 12 Hours, four American Le Mans Series GT titles and one Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series overall title. He was also the best Porsche GT driver in the Porsche Supercup (2001) and Porsche Carrera Cup Germany (2000).
Following father's racing footsteps
Jörg Bergmeister was born on February 13, 1976, in Leverkusen, Germany. His father Willi Bergmeister (1949-2013) was also a racing driver, who competed mostly in the German and European touring car races. Willi Bergmeister also owned a dealership and workshop in which young Michael Schumacher learned about auto mechanics in the 1980s.
Jorg followed father's footsteps and started his racing career as a teenager, entering the Formula König in 1992. After finishing third in his debut season, Jorg became Formula König champion in 1993. The next step was Formula Renault and then Formula Opel, in which Bergmeister finished as the runner-up in 1995.
Jörg started to race with Porsche in 1996
In 1996, Bergmeister debuted in the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany. Since then, he was almost exclusively driving Porsches for the next two decades, achieving most of his greatest results with that German brand.
Year by year, Jorg progressed through a field of Carrera Cup drivers, reaching the third place in 1999 and winning the Cup in 2000, driving for Farnbacher Racing. In 2000, he also debuted in the Porsche Pirelli Supercup, finishing 6th in the points.
Porsche Supercup winner in 2001
Next year, in 2001, still driving for Farnbacher Racing, Bergmeister won the Supercup with seven race wins in twelve races. In the 2001 German Carrera Cup, he finished in second place, tied in the points with Timo Bernhard.
As a Porsche Supercup winner, Bergmeister made one step forward in his sports car career, participating full season in the 2002 American Le Mans Series with Alex Job Racing, but also participating at Daytona and Le Mans 24-hour races.
Successful debuts: Daytona win and Le Mans podium
In his Daytona 24h debut, Bergmeister immediately scored a victory, winning the GT class with TRG's Porsche 996 GT3 RS, sharing the car with Timo Bernhard, Kevin Buckler and Michael Schrom. He was also successful in his Le Mans debut, finishing in second place of GT class together with Romain Dumas and Sascha Maassen in the #80 Porsche 996 GT3 RS of Freisinger Motorsport.
In his first ALMS season with AJR, Bergmeister scored one win and six podiums and finished fourth in the GT classification. His full-season teammate was Timo Bernhard.
Overall Daytona 24h victory with Porsche 911 GT3 RS
In 2003, Bergmeister had a similar schedule as the year before, driving for Alex Job Racing in the American Le Mans Series and participating in two 24-hour races. He scored an overall victory at 24 hours of Daytona, sharing the TRG's Porsche 911 GT3 RS with the same three drivers: Timo Bernhard, Kevin Buckler and Michael Schrom. At Le Mans, Bernhard/Bergmeister/Buckler finished in fifth place of GT class.
Le Mans class victory in 2004
In 2004, American Le Mans Series was Bergmeister's main competition again but the highlight of the season was his GT class victory at 24 hours of Le Mans. At Circuit de la Sarthe, he was sharing the White Lightning Racing's Porsche 996 GT3 RS with Sascha Maassen and Patrick Long. After 327 laps, they were 10th overall and the fastest in GT class.
That year, he didn't win at Daytona but he won Sebring 12 hours instead. His co-drivers at Sebring were Timo Bernhard and Sascha Maassen. The race was a part of the American Le Mans Series, in which Bergmeister finished third in the points.
American Le Mans Series GT2 champion in 2005
In 2005, Bergmeister had a double programme in North America, participating full season both in the American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am Rolex Series. The ALMS season started with one more class victory at Sebring, together with Lucas Luhr and Patrick Long in the #31 Porsche 996 GT3 RSR of White Lightning Racing. Bergmeister added four more wins later in the season, together with Patrick Long, and they won GT2 ALMS title. Long, Bergmeister and Timo Bernhard competed together at 24h Le Mans, taking second place in GT2 class.
In the Grand-Am Series, Bergmeister experienced prototype racing for the first time, driving #66 Riley-Pontiac for Krohn Racing/TRG. With different co-drivers, mostly Max Papis or Christian Fittipaldi, Bergmeister finished fourth in DP class standings.
Two championship titles in 2006
In 2006, Jorg Bergmeister became a double champion, winning both competitions. In the GT2 class of the American Le Mans Series, he defended a title with White Lightning Racing's Porsche, winning three out of ten races.
Another title he won in Daytona Prototype class of Grand-Am Rolex Series, driving Riley-Ford prototype for Krohn Racing. He scored three wins, sharing the car with Boris Said (once) and Colin Braun (twice). At Le Mans 24h, Bergmeister participated with Krohn Racing's Porsche, failing to finish the race for the first time in five attempts.
ALMS championship runner-up with Flying Lizard Motorsports
Bergmeister repeated a double programme in 2007, switching to Flying Lizard Motorsports in the ALMS and moving to Alex Job Racing in the Grand-Am Rolex Series. He was more successful in ALMS races, scoring three wins with #45 Porsche 997 GT3 RSR and finishing second in the points, together with teammate Johannes van Overbeek.
In the Rolex Series, Bergmeister was driving Crawford-Porsche prototype, scoring only one win (Laguna Seca) and he finished 15th in the points.
Six Le Mans participations with Flying Lizard Motorsports
In June 2007, Bergmeister participated with Flying Lizard Motorsports at Le Mans 24 hours. It was his first (out of six) consecutive Le Mans participation with FLM Porsches. He shared the car with Johannes van Overbeek and Seth Neiman, but he didn't finish the race in 2007.
In 2008, the same trio finished 6th in GT2 class. In 2009, Bergmeister's co-drivers were Neiman and Darren Law, they retired after 194 laps. In 2010, they retired again, after just 61 laps.
In 2011, Patrick Long and Lucas Luhr were Bergmeister's partners at Le Mans, finishing sixth in GTE Pro class. Finally, in 2012, Bergmeister's last participation with Flying Lizard's Porsche came to an end after 114 laps.
ALMS GT2 champion three years in a row
Although he wasn't successful at Le Mans with Flying Lizard Motorsports, Bergmeister continued to collect wins and trophies in North America. In 2008, he won a GT2 title in the American Le Mans Series, driving the #45 FLM Porsche 997 GT3 RSR. He won four times, including his third class victory at Sebring 12h. Bergmeister shared a championship trophy with Wolf Henzler.
In 2009, Bergmeister was the champion again, sharing a title with Patrick Long. They won six out of ten races with Flying Lizard Motorsports' Porsche. Bergmeister had a one-off appearance in the Grand-Am Rolex Series, scoring GT class win at Daytona 24h with TRG's Porsche. In that race, he shared a car with Patrick Long, Justin Marks, Andy Lally and Richard Valentine.
Third ALMS GT2 title followed in 2010, still with Flying Lizard Motorsports. Patrick Long was his winning partner again.They won four races that season.
Spa 24 hours victory in 2010
In August 2010, Bergmeister put one more 24-hour victory to his account. Together with Romain Dumas, Martin Ragginger and Wolf Henzler, he won the Spa 24 hours, driving the #23 Porsche 997 GT3 RSR for BMS Scuderia Italia.
Bergmeister's streak of championship wins came to an end in 2011, when he finished fourth in the points of American Le Mans Series GT class. In 2012, his last season with Flying Lizard Motorsports, he finished fifth in the points.
Porsche factory driver in the FIA WEC
A new chapter in Bergmeister's career was opened in 2013 when he joined Porsche Team Manthey in the FIA World Endurance Championship. He participated full season in the #91 Porsche 911 RSR, sharing a car with Patrick Pilet. Timo Bernhard was their co-driver in three races, including Le Mans 24h, where they finished second in GTE Pro class. With five podiums, Bergmeister and Pilet finished sixth in the final standings of GT drivers.
Class victory at 2014 Sebring 12 hours
In 2014, Bergmeister participated in the American endurance races with Porsche North America, he didn't finish the Daytona 24h but he won the Sebring 12 hours. GTLM class winners with #912 Porsche 991 RSR were Bergmeister, Patrick Long and Michael Christensen.
In the 2014 FIA WEC season, Bergmeister continued to drive #91 Porsche, sharing a car with Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy and Richard Lietz. He scored three podiums and finished sixth in GT drivers standings.
Back to America in 2015
For the 2015 season, Bergmeister was transferred to Porsche North America team to compete in the IMSA SportsCar Championship. In the World Endurance Championship, he participated only at Le Mans 24h, finishing 5th in the GTE Pro class.
After a full season in the 2015 IMSA Championship, Bergmeister was sixth in GTLM standings. He didn't win any race, scoring only three podiums.
Combining America and Japan in 2016
In 2016, Bergmeister stayed in the IMSA Championship, driving the GTD-class Porsche 911 GT3 R for Park Place Motorsports. With two podiums in ten races, sharing the car with Patrick Lindsey, he finished 11th in the points.
Bergmeister also spent a season in the Japanese GT Championship, driving the Porsche 911 GT3 R for Team KTR, together with Naoya Yamano. With one podium, in the penultimate round at Twin Ring Motegi, he finished 13th in the GT300 class standings.
In 2017, Bergmeister didn't return to Japan, continuing to drive Porsche for Park Place Motorsports in the IMSA Championship but also for Wright Motorsports im selected rounds of the Pirelli World Challenge. He was a race winner just once, at Lime Rock Park, finishing 10th in the final standings of IMSA GTD class.