Pierre Kaffer is a German racing driver who achieved the most in the sports car racing. He was an overall winner at Nürburgring 24 Hours in 2019 and at Sebring 12 Hours in 2004 and the GT2 class winner in three great races in 2009 (Sebring 12h, Le Mans 24h, Petit Le Mans).
Participating in many sports car championships, he was a champion once, in the 2010 International GT Open. Earlier in a career, Kaffer was Formula Ford and Formula Opel champion in Germany.
Two championship titles early in a career
Born in November 1976 in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Kaffer started his racing career in karting competitions in 1990. In 1994, he moved to Formula Ford, winning the championship title in 1995.
He was a champion again in 1996, winning the Formula Opel German championship but also the Formula Opel Lotus Nations Cup with Team Germany.
Five seasons in the Formula 3
In 1997, Kaffer made a debut in Formula 3 Germany, scoring one victory in his rookie season and finishing 6th in the points. He progressed to the 4th place in 1998.
In 1999, Kaffer dropped to 8th place in the final standings and then finished 3rd in the 2000 German Formula 3, behind Giorgio Pantano and Alexander Müller. Kaffer's last season in the Formula 3 was 2001 when he finished fourth in the points.
Two seasons in Porsche Carrera Cup
In 2002, Kaffer made a switch to GT racing, participating full season in the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany. Scoring one victory and four podiums, he finished third in the points, behind Marc Lieb and Frank Stippler.
In 2003, Kaffer had a double programme, adding Porsche Supercup to his schedule. He was 13th in the German Carrera Cup and finished third in the Supercup, behind Frank Stippler and Wolf Henzler. In 2003, Kaffer participated in two non-championship Formula 3 races, finishing 13th at Korea Super Prix and fifth at Macau Grand Prix.
2004 - sensational victory at Sebring 12 Hours
In 2004, Kaffer joined Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx to drive an Audi R8 LMP1 prototype in different competitions. His debut in a car was sensational, as he won the Sebring 12 Hours together with Allan McNish and Frank Biela. The race was a part of the American Le Mans Series. Later in the season, Kaffer was sharing ADT Champion Racing's Audi R8 with Johnny Herbert in two races, finishing second at Petit Le Mans and winning at Laguna Seca.
Kaffer's main competition in 2004 was the Le Mans Endurance Series with Team Veloqx. He won two races (Nurburgring, Silverstone), finishing third in the points. In June, he made a debut at 24 hours of Le Mans, finishing in the 5th place together with Frank Biela and Allan McNish.
Two DTM seasons with Audi
Kaffer stayed with Audi in 2005 but moved to the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters. He was driving an older version of the Audi A4 DTM for Audi Sport Team Joest. His best result in the #15 car was the fifth place at Lausitzring and he finished 15th in the final standings.
In 2006, Kaffer moved to the #14 Audi A4 DTM of the Audi Sport Team Phoenix. He scored one single point in ten races, finishing 16th in the final classification.
Returning to Porsche in 2007
Kaffer left Audi and DTM in 2007, returning to Porsche Carrera Cup Germany. Scoring no wins or podiums, he finished 12th in the points. In that year's Nurburgring 24 Hours, he finished in the 6th place in a Porsche 997 GT3 RSR.
In 2008, he joined Farnbacher Loles Racing to drive a Porsche both in the American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. His best result in a Porsche was the second place overall at Nurburgring 24 Hours, together with Armin Hahne, Christian Haarmann and Jochen Krumbach in the #23 Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3.
Class wins at Sebring, Le Mans and Petit Le Mans in a Ferrari
In the 2008 Le Mans Series, Kaffer was driving Ferrari F430 GTC for Farnbacher Racing. With that car, he scored his first Le Mans podium, finishing third in the GT2 class together with Pierre Ehret and Lars-Erik Nielsen.
In 2009, Kaffer stayed with Farnbacher Racing in the Le Mans Series and contested with Risi Competizione in the American Le Mans Series. Kaffer, Jaime Melo and Mika Salo scored three great wins that year. In March, they were GT2 class winners at Sebring 12 Hours and then, in June, they were GT2 class winners at Le Mans 24 Hours. Finally, in September, they won GT2 class at Petit Le Mans.
2010 – International GT Open champion
In 2010, Kaffer opened a season with one more GT2 class victory at Sebring 12 Hours, sharing the #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F430 GTC with Jaime Melo and Gianmaria Bruni. Later in the season, he was driving Ferrari for CRS Racing in the Le Mans Series and for AF Corse in the International GT Open.
Kaffer and Alvaro Barba scored four International GT open victories and nine podiums in the #8 Ferrari, winning the championship title. In June, at Le Mans 24 Hours, Kaffer was a part of Risi Competizione crew, not finishing the race.
Three LMP2 seasons with Pecom Racing
In 2011, Kaffer made a debut in an LMP2 prototype, driving a Lola-Judd for the Argentine team Pecom Racing in the Le Mans Series. He was sharing a car with Argentinean drivers Matias Russo and Luis Perez Companc. Scoring one podium, they finished 10th in the final LMP2 standings. At Le Mans, they didn't finish the race.
Kaffer stayed with Pecom Racing in 2012, sharing the #49 Oreca 03-Nissan with Luis Perez-Companc, Soheil Ayari and Nicolas Minassian. Their main competition was the FIA World Endurance Championship. They were race winners in Bahrain and finished third in the LMP2 class at Le Mans. In the 2013 FIA WEC season, the #49 crew won the race at Spa and finished fourth at Le Mans.
Combining Ferrari and Lotus LMP1 in 2014
In 2014, Kaffer spent most of the year driving Ferrari cars. He was driving Ferrari 458 Italia for Risi Competizione in the IMSA United Sports Car Championship and for AT Racing in the European Le Mans Series. He also participated in four races of the World Endurance Championship in an LMP1 prototype for Lotus.
At Le Mans 24 Hours, Kaffer was a member of the #71 AF Corse crew as a replacement for James Calado, who was injured during qualifying. The #71 Ferrari stopped after just 28 laps.
Driving LMP1, Ferrari and Audi in 2015
Kaffer's other commitment in 2015 was driving the #62 Ferrari for Risi Competizione in the IMSA Championship, with Giancarlo Fisichella as a full-time co-driver. They scored five podiums, finishing fourth in the final standings of the GTLM class.
Kaffer was also driving Ferrari for Black Pearl Racing by Rinaldi in some races of the 24H Series and Blancpain Endurance Series, but also an Audi R8 LMS for Audi Sport Team WRT in the VLN series and at Nurburgring 24 Hours.
One more season with CLM P1/01
In 2016, Kaffer spent one more last season with Team ByKolles, driving the #4 CLM P1/01 LMP1 prototype in six rounds of the World Endurance Championship, sharing a car with Simon Trummer and Oliver Webb. At Le Mans 24 Hours, they didn't finish the race.
In GT racing, Kaffer was driving only Audi R8 LMS in 2016, for four different teams in Europe and North America. His most notable result was the third place at Sepang 12 Hours with Audi Sport Team Phoenix, in a car he was sharing with Markus Winkelhock and Rene Rast.
Regular participant in all 24-hour races
In 2017, Kaffer started a season at Daytona 24 Hours, driving an Audi for Alex Job Racing. In May, he participated in Nurburgring 24 Hours with Audi Sport Team Land, not finishing the race. At Le Mans 24 Hours, Kaffer joined Toni Vilander and Giancarlo Fisichella in the #82 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE, not finishing the race. At Spa 24 Hours, he was driving an Audi for Audi Sport Team ISR.
Besides being a guest driver in 24-hour races, Kaffer spent the 2017 season with Magnus Racing in the Pirelli World Challenge, driving the #4 Audi R8 LMS. He scored two podiums to finish 11th in the GT class standings. In October, he was a winner of the inaugural California 8 Hours at Laguna Seca Raceway, sharing an Audi with Kelvin van der Linde and Markus Winkelhock.
Victory at Nürburgring 24 Hours in 2019
In 2018, Kaffer again had a wide schedule of races all around the world. He spent a season with Audi customer team EFP by TECE in the ADAC GT Masters and with Attempto Racing in the Blancpain GT Series. He and Elia Erhart won the ADAC GT race at Sachsenring. In endurance races, he scored no success.
In 2019, his main competition was the ADAC GT Masters with EFP Car Collection but he also continued to race with other teams in other competiotions, The highlight of the season was the victory at 24 Hours of Nürburgring, together with Audi teammates Frank Stippler, Dries Vanthoor and Frederic Vervisch.