Legend 1

Reinhold Joest, the World’s Most Successful Prototype Team Owner

The teams of Reinhold Joest have won the 24 Hours of Le Mans a record 15 times... 1984-85, 1996-97, 2000-02, 2006-08, 2010-2014. Four of his first wins were in Porsches and in 2000 Joest became associated with the prototype racers of Audi Sport. With Audi, Joest’s team first raced the vaunted Audi R8 and began sweeping wins and championships in America and Le Mans. During 2000-05, Joest won the 24 Hours five times in six years. In 2006, Audi introduced the revolutionary R10 TDI with it’s turbocharged diesel engine with direct injection and won Le Mans three straight years before the Peugeot 908 FAP diesel ended the string. Audi Sport and Joest then won with the R15 TDI Plus for a win in 2010 and then won again with the R18 TDI in 2011. 2012 was a historic year as the FIA/WEC World Endurance Championship restarted and Audi made history with its R19 e-tron quattro hybrid racer. It won Le Mans with the hybrid in 2012-14 and won the WEC world championship in 2012 and 2013. Team Joest first made history with its Porsche and Audi cars and is now working on repeating history as Team Joest races the Mazda RT24-P prototypes in the American IMSA Weathertech Endurance Series.

Joest through the Years

Joest + Audi

Audi Joest Collage Joest Lightbox
Reinhold Joest
Legend 2

Wayne Taylor, Winner of the Premiere Petit Le Mans as a Driver and Team Owner in 2018

As the 2018 Petit Le Mans approached, Earl Cook put hats acquired over the history of the races into his backpack and headed to the track to meet those associated with the hats. As he approached Wayne Taylor, Wayne pointed and exclaimed, “Hey, that’s my hat from when I won the first Petit Le Mans in the Ferrari 333 SP! Come in and let me show this to my team! Maybe, you will bring us good luck!” It looked like it did as the team won the 2018 PLM. As a young driver from South Africa, Taylor gained fame racing the Riley & Scott WSC Fords. He formed his own team and has become a stalwart in American prototype sports cars, especially, when those series were associated with the Rolex series. With the merger of IMSA and the Rolex series, Taylor has rejoined his roots and his team races the Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R. As a team owner, Taylor was able to race briefly with his two sons, Ricky and Jordan, before retiring in 2008 as a driver so that he could focus as a team owner. Ricky and Jordan made history in 2010 as being the first American-born winners of the 24 Hours of Daytona. Wayne won the first Petit Le Mans in 1998 as a driver and then 20 years later won the 2018 Petit Le Mans as a team-owner.

Driver + Team Owner + Dad

Wayne Taylor Collage
Wayne Taylor

20+ Years of Petit Le Mans Excitement

Photography & Websites by Earl Cook & Gail Cook
Legend 3

Don Panoz

Earl Cook first met fellow-Atlantan, Don Panoz, at the 1998 24 Hours of Daytona where Panoz made a grand entry into the world of international prototype sports car racing. That experience in January began a year in which Panoz continued to make history. The list of things Panoz did after Daytona were: he purchased Road Atlanta; made major changes and upgrades to the track; started the American Le Mans Series; raced at 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Panoz hybrid GT; created a major international event in the Petit Le Mans (PLM); and then invited the world’s top teams, drivers and media from around the world to Atlanta. A bold entrepreneur and inventor, Panoz was used to making bold moves and having naysayers question his decisions. He chose North Georgia to build a world-class vineyard and resort at Chateau Elan and people thought he was a bit crazy until his wines began to win prestigous awards. With the Petit Le Mans, his goals were questioned again. Earl Cook saw the beauty and boldness of Panoz’s dreams and he and his wife, Gail, supported the PLM by covering it as photojournalists / webmasters. As a result, fans around the world were able to experience this new international event through photos, stories and interviews daily through the Internet. The Petit Le Mans has become a major event in the world and the legacy of Don Panoz will live long into the future.

Tribute to Panoz...
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Legend 4

Giampiero Moretti

Moretti, from Milan, Italy, was the founder of MOMO where he was a designer and builder of high-end automotive accessories such as steering wheels, racing seats, wheels and, racing clothing. The name MOMO was a combination of the first two letters of his name and the first two letters of his favorite track, Monza. A long-time favorite in the world of American sports car racing, he was known for cooking pasta that filled the paddocks with wonderful aromas. He was also known at Ferrari for pestering them into designing and building the Ferrari 333 SP. Ferrari was content to build their road cars and race in Formula 1 but had no interest in returning to the world of endurance prototype sports car racing. Moretti finally convinced Ferrari to build the 333 SP so that he and a group of Ferrari teams could race the cars in America, Europe and Le Mans. Earl Cook’s paths crossed with Moretti’s in the Spring of 1994 at Road Atlanta when the new Ferraris were being unboxed, bolted together and driven for the first time. Earl was testing a new video camera and ended up getting over four hours of historic video. This video served as the primary content for one of the world's first multimedia titles. Over a 4-5 year period, Earl and Gail became friends with Moretti and the rest of the Ferrari family of teams and drivers. A highlight of Moretti’s career was in 1998 when as a driver/team owner, he won the 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring and 6 Hours of Watkins Glen. This photograph was taken before the start of the 1998 24 Hours of Daytona where he was starting on the pole. It was a highlight of his career and he was beaming.

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Legend 5

Giuseppi Risi

Giuseppi Risi is founder of Ferrari Houston and The Woodland Ferrari dealerships. He is also team principal of Risi Competizione, the most successful Ferrari GT Racing Team in American history that includes 3 wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 4 wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring and, 3 wins at the Petit Le Mans. The team is known for their beautiful red Ferraris and the professionalism of the team. From Risi’s website, “Risi is known for his extremely high standards in every facet of any automotive enterprise he is involved with, and he demands the highest professional and knowledge standards on the sales floor as well as the deepest technical education and experience on the shop floor. Risi has always believed that perfection is a good starting point.”

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Earl Cook

Earl Cook is a consultant, photojournalist, custom software and, web developer with a passion for prototype endurance sports cars. As an innovator that has worked on the leading-edge of technology, Earl has always enjoyed going up to the local Road Atlanta road course to test new cameras and techniques at the track. On one occasion, Earl was at Road Atlanta as the new Ferrari 333 SP’s were being unpacked, bolted together and driven for the first time. During this time, Earl and his wife/partner and fellow photographer shot both historic video and photos of the Ferraris. Earl was just learning the nuts and bolts of producing applications known as 'multimedia'. The multimedia CD that the couple created under the moniker, Cyber Motorsports, was one of the first multimedia titles in the world and one of the first multimedia CD’s sold on Amazon.com. The CD was also sold in Ferrari boutiques around the world. It was through this effort that Earl was recognized as a photojournalist and the couple began covering the Petit Le Mans. In this effort, Earl was one of the first photographers in the world using a digital camera.

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Covers through the Decades

In a area where news used to take six weeks to reach the audience, Cyber Motorsports reduced the time to Six hours.

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Action photos by Earl Cook


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