The sad news has recently been announced that the Porsche Supercup team owner Walter Lechner passed away aged 71.
Walter was born in Vienna in 1949 where he grew up and spent many years working as a bellboy and then as an attendant at the city’s luxury hotel called Sacher. He went on to become best known for racing in the Le Mans 24 Hours on two occasions and he also founded the Supercup team, where he was best known due to the prevailing success in the Porsche Supercup.
In his time, taking part in sixteen seasons which featured a move to 911 machinery in 2013; Lechner has led his team to win an impressive eleven times which was made up of a clean sweep of the most recent seven titles alone. Due to this success, the Supercup team opened up the doors for Rene Rase and Micheal Ammermuller who went on to become the most decorated drivers in the history of the Porsche Supercup history. With Walters’ support, they went on to win this title three times. Lencher also became a triple DTM champion and current Audi Formula E Rast, where he ran Tom Dillmann, Nicki Thiim and Connor de Phillippi in the Supercup.
In 1975, Lechner sold his nightclub which allowed him to set up his own Walter Lechner racing school. This was one of his major moves into the motorsport industry where he had aspirations for his school to replicate the success of Jim Russell’s famed set up in Britain at the time. Lechner went on to race himself where he soon gained the support of the American bourbon maker Jim Beam and this relationship then bought Lechner right through to his sports car adventures. He then switched to lower powered machinery where he won both the European and the German Formula Super Vee crowns in 1982 when he was just thirty-three. Lechner would be the last champion in the German category.
In the 1980’s Lechner then moved to sports car competition where he rented a Porsche 956 and won on home turf at the Osterreichring. This inspired him to his very own 962 which is still in his family’s possession. This vehicle saw him win eleven races and two championships in just six years.
After that, Lechner would experience a break failure on approach to Virage de Mulsanne and a switch to tin-tops, including competing against Dieter Quester in the Austrian Touring Championship in 1995. He then focused his attention on his race team where they achieved a huge win in the Porsche Supercup where the manufacturer appointed the squad to organize its GT3 Cup Challenge competition in the Middle East.
His family and team members are deeply saddened that Walter Lechner passed away aged 71, but it brings comfort knowing he spent his days doing what he loved. Lechner is survived by sons Robert and Walter Lechner Jr.
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