Joel Camathias: “Time to call it a day but I will always be a racing driver!”
Joel Camathias has put an end to his racing career, after 28 years in the sports. “I thought I had to let it know”, explains the Swiss driver, “although this is not an official announcement and not even a decision carefully meditated. It’s rather a fact that happened, and has come naturally to me, after a forced sabbatical year. When thinking about retaking the extenuating work of contacts, meetings, presentations to find a seat and a programme for 2023, I realized that I was not ready to do this all over again. Also, GT racing, even as a semi-professional, today requires full dedication, and even so, it is difficult to compete against young drivers, fast and talented, that spend their entire life racing, testing and on simulator. You can be as good as you want, be extremely motivated and have a lot of experience, you cannot match that. As you grow older, your focus widens, it doesn’t necessarily shift, but it widens. I’m now the father of two young kids and I manage the family business, two roles that keep me busy and are also very fulfilling.”
The Lugano-born feels no bitterness at all, on the contrary: “I feel privileged to have been able to live my passion, inherited from my beloved father Romeo, and proud of my achievements. As always in life, some things could have gone better and there have been frustrating moments, but the good memories, the nicest wins and experiences, and most of all, the pleasure of driving and racing outweigh everything. I am grateful to all those who have supported me and helped me throughout these years, and first of all, to my family. What is sure is that I’ll miss the adrenalin of competition and will remain a racing driver forever!”
Joel Camathias (41) started racing in karts at the age of 14. He then moved to single-seaters, reaching F.3000 in Europe and Champ Car (today, Indycar) in the US. In 2004 he switched to GT racing, where he conquered numerous successes: he won the LMS GT2 title in 2006 and the International GT Open title twice (2007 and 2009). In 2008, he took a GT2 victory at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. He has also competed in FIA-GT, ELMS and WEC, among other top series, and taken part twice in the Le Mans 24 Hours. His last big win (in GTE-Am) was in Portimão in 2017.
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