Albert von Thurn und Taxis
- June 24, 1983
- Erc – European Rally Championship
Albert von Thurn und Taxis, the 12th Prince of Thurn and Taxis, is a German aristocrat, businessman, racing and rally driver.
Earlier in a career, he left the most significant trail in GT racing, winning the ADAC GT Masters championship title in 2010 and finishing two times as a vice-champion, in 2007 and 2008. In 2016, Albert switched to rallying and he currently competes in the European Rally Championship.
Born in June 1983, as a son of Johannes, the 11th Prince of Thurn and Taxis, Albert became one of the world's youngest billionaires after his father's death in 1990. Albert completed his high school education in Rome, Italy, and after his military service, he studied at the University of Edinburgh.
Albert started his racing career at the age 19, participating in the ADAC Volkswagen Lupo Cup. He scored no success in his rookie season, then switching to GT racing in 2005, spending a season with JMB Racing in the Italian GT Championship. He was sharing the #57 Ferrari 360 Modena GTC with Stephen Earle. Albert also made one start in the FIA GT Championship in a Ferrari.
In 2006, Albert started to race with Reiter Engineering, driving a Lamborghini Gallardo LP520 GT3 in the inaugural season of the FIA GT3 European Championship.
He was sharing the #13 Lamborghini with different co-drivers, not scoring wins or podiums in overall standings. However, he won Lamborghini Manufacturers Cup after scoring three wins in a category.
In 2007, Albert von Thurn und Taxis entered the full season of the ADAC GT Masters, the German GT championship, sharing the #6 Lamborghini Gallardo LP520 GT3 with Peter Kox. In twelve races, they were winners three times, at Oschersleben, Lausitzring and Sachsenring, finishing second in the championship standings, just five points behind Christopher Haase.
In 2008, the reigning champion Christopher Haase joined Reiter Engineering, becoming Albert's co-driver. They were sharing the #1 Lamborghini Gallardo LP520 GT3, scoring two races victories, both at Assen, and finishing second in the championship points, behind Tim Bergmeister.
In 2009, Albert spent a season with Lamborghini in the FIA GT3 European Championship and Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo but without any notable success.
In 2010, Albert returned to the ADAC GT Masters, sharing Reiter's #24 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560 GT3 with Peter Kox. They were race winners four times and added three more podiums to take the championship title. It was the first time that two drivers were sharing the ADAC GT title.
Besides racing in the German championship, Albert also participated in few rounds of the FIA GT3 European Championship with Argo Racing's Lamborghini Gallardo, scoring one podium at Brno.
Following his championship-winning season, Albert von Thurn und Taxis stayed for five more seasons with Reiter Engineering in different GT competitions – ADAC GT Masters, FIA GT3 European Championship, FIA GT1 World Championship. Blancpain GT Series or Pirelli World Challenge. In that period, he scored several victories.
In 2011, he and Niki Mayr-Melnhof won FIA GT3 races at Navarra and Circuit Paul Ricard. In 2012, Albert scored two podiums in the FIA GT1 races at Nogaro and Slovakia Ring. Albert added two more wins to his account in the 2014 Pirelli World Challenge. His last season in GT racing was 2015, when he scored his last victory in the Qualifying Race of the Blancpain Sprint Series round at Moscow Raceway, sharing Reiter's Lamborghini Gallardo R-EX with Nick Catsburg.
Albert von Thurn und Taxis left GT racing and made a switch to rallying in 2016. Earlier in a career, he recorded occasional starts in some Austrian and German rallies in 2009, 2010 and 2014, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX. In 2016, he made eight starts all over Europe in a Škoda Fabia R5, with Bjorn Degandt as his navigator.
Then, in 2017, Albert participated full season in the European Rally Championship, driving a Škoda Fabia R5 for Vewers Sport. His best ERC result was the fourth place at Cyprus Rally. For the 2018 ERC season, Albert joined Baumschlager Rallye & Racing Team to drive a Škoda Fabia R5. but without some notable results. In 2019, he switched to BRR Volkswagen Polo GTI R5.