Globetrotter & Dakar winner: Yörn Pugmeister is dead


The world is one legend poorer: The former motorsport reporter, Dakar winner and PR boss Yörn Pugmeister passed away peacefully on January 8th after falling down the stairs.

Yörn Pugmeister was one of the most versatile, entertaining and adventurous people I have met in almost five decades of my journalistic life. For decades, “Pug” or “Pugi” was not only one of the best and best-informed motorsport reporters, as a brilliant writer with a great understanding of technology and an intoxicating vocabulary, he helped shape German Formula 1 reporting for years.

Now, on January 8th, Yörn Pugmeister closed his eyes forever after injuring himself falling down a flight of stairs days earlier. He is survived by his wife Katharina Pugmeister, with whom he also took part in the Dakar Rally. The journalist, who actually wanted to be a French teacher, was at the start of the notorious desert rally a total of six times.

And that wasn’t the only motorsport adventure that Yörn Pugmeister undertook. The adventurer and jack of all trades took part in the Camel Trophy no fewer than 18 times.

“It took place all over the world in the so-called green belts. It was there that I had the most incredible experiences. For example, we fled in Brazil, where we were supposed to drive the Trophy in Goiania. But we had to leave quickly, and the helicopter and all the cars had to be taken out of the country because the Brazilian customs were after us because we had sold the cars in the country privately the year before,” Pugi recalled in 2020 on the occasion of a SPEEDWEEK .com conversation on his 80th birthday.

«When the East opened up a bit, we had a Camel Trophy in the Urals. Then I drove for Porsche in a works car from Moscow to Ulan Bator in Mongolia. I drove for Volkswagen from Ulan Bator to Kathmandu in Nepal, across the Himalayas. I made a wonderful journey from Paris to Beijing in a Mercedes,” said Yörn Pugmeister, who also did not shy away from adventure as a reporter.

Pugi “covered” the DTM, Formula 1, the sports car scene and the World Rally Championship as well as the Dakar Rally. He marched through the pit lane at the 24-hour race of Le Mans for 29 years – until 2016.

Yörn Pugmeister was the successful editor-in-chief of sport-auto from 1971 to 1978. He then took over the post of head of foreign affairs at Motor Presse Verlag until 1990, where he was responsible for all foreign magazine developments. From 1979 to 1986 he also worked as an advisor to the managing director at Motor Presse, until he was promoted to management and appointed foreign director for the second time.

In February, the Porsche fan ended his work at Motor Presse to work for a year as head of PR and company spokesman at Porsche. After that, Pugmeister fulfilled an old dream. He bought a boat with which he sailed around the world for two years from 1993 to 1995 all by himself. After returning from the oceans of this world, Pugmeister wrote again for auto motor und sport and Motorsport aktuell.

Dear Pugi, we won’t cry over you as long as we laughed with you. Rest in peace.

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