Dieter Quester is a former racing driver from Austria who was active in different racing disciplines, gaining the most success in the touring car races. He was the European Touring Car champion in overall classification twice, in 1977 and 1983, and two more times class champion in 1968 and 1969.
Quester participated in more than fifty 24-hour races, being the most successful at 24 Hours of Spa, winning three times (1973, 1986, 1988). At 24 Hours of Le Mans, his greatest success was a class victory in 1973.
Quester even recorded one start in the Formula One World Championship, driving for Surtees at 1974 Austrian Grand Prix.
From speedboat racing to BMW cars
Dieter Quester was born in 1939 in Vienna and got his first taste of motorsports in speedboat racing in the late 1950s. In the ’60s, after he became a champion in speedboat racing, he moved to cars.
He became the winner of the Austrian Touring Car Championship in 1966, behind the wheel of a BMW 1800. In the following years, he won some important touring car races driving BMW cars across Europe, becoming Division 3 ETCC champion in 1968 and 1969.
Dieter Quester pictured in a BMW during the Spa 24 Hours
Only Formula 1 start in the Austrian Grand Prix
This result was enough to get him an invitation to BMW’s famous but unsuccessful Formula 2 racing programme. He did manage to snag some wins but couldn’t advance to Formula One. At that moment, he was so frustrated that he even considered retirement.
Eventually, in 1974, Quester got a chance to race in Formula One with Surtees in the Austrian Grand Prix, finishing in the ninth place. It remained his only F1 start and he returned to touring cars.
Dieter Quester has competed in only one Formula 1 Grand Prix
Victories at Spa and Le Mans in the same year
One of the most successful Quester's seasons in touring car racing was 1973. Although he didn't win any championship title that year, he scored victories in two great races - Spa 24 Hours and Le Mans 24 Hours. At Spa, he was an overall winner in a BMW 3.0 CSL, together with Toine Hezemans. Earlier that year, they also won touring car class (T5.0) at Le Mans in factory-entered BMW 3.0 CSL.
Later in a career, Quester recorded two more wins at Spa, in 1986 with BMW 635 CSi and in 1988 with BMW M3. At Le Mans 24 Hours, he participated eight times in total, recording seven DNFs.
Quester's BMW 3.0 CSL in 1977
Dieter Quester as an accomplished endurance racer
His touring cars career really took off in the mid-70s with BMW. He became the 1977 European Touring Car Champion in a 3.0 CSL and a regular Procar driver in the famous BMW M1. He won one more ETCC title in 1983, driving Schnitzer's BMW 635 CSi.
Besides the touring car racing, Quester started participating in a lot of endurance races across the world, recording 53 24-hour races during his career. The last one he won was in 2006 in Dubai. Currently, Quester is still a regular guest in racing events all over the world.
Dieter Quester is a regular guest at historic race meetings
Ahead of his time
His career stats are quite impressive, with over 600 race starts and more than 250 podium finishes. He was victorious on all continents and will always be well remembered by fans as a good driver and sportsman. In fact, he is one of the first drivers to implement a fitness program and diet for motorsport activities, something that is obligatory today in any form of motorsport.