Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame 2021 Inductee Randy Pobst Honed His Driving Skills as Teenager in Brevard
By Space Coast Daily // May 3, 2021
Worldwide automotive authority as a track test driver, writer and video host for Motor Trend magazine
Randy Pobst has won nearly 100 professional road races and 10 professional championships
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Brevard County native Randy Franklin Pobst, also known as “RFP” or “The Rocket,” has won nearly 100 professional road races and 10 professional championships, and is a journalist for Motor Trend magazine.
He was a 30 year resident of Brevard County, graduating from Melbourne High School in 1975.
Active in the SCCA World Challenge GT series and the Grand American series’ GT class, Pobst was the 2003, 2007, 2008 and 2010 SCCA World Challenge GT champion, the 1996 North American Touring Car Championship title winner, and 2005, 2006 and 2007 SCCA World Challenge TC vice-champion. He is also a two-time class winner of the 24 Hours of Daytona, in 2001 and 2006.
He is currently a Mazda, Volvo, Audi and Porsche factory-supported driver, but honed his speediness with cars in Melbourne, where he grew up amidst a sea of toy cars.
“I’ve always been a car guy,” said Pobst, who still remembers “feeling like a million bucks” after getting his license as soon as he turned 15.
An advertisement for the Indian River Sports Car Club steered him towards autocross races and fun runs at locations such as the parking lot at Byrd Plaza in Cocoa.
“I was born for the whole idea of driving as fast as you can,” he said.
Pobst’s racing career began in a parking lot in Satellite Beach in 1977, competing in an autocross which he won. He proved to be a natural, winning autocross state and national championships, as well as the pro series.
At college age, he experienced the closest to a regular job he ever had, as the organizer for the Dodge National Collegiate Championship events, held at college campuses around the country.
Saving every penny for two years, he used the money to move up to road racing with a new 1985 VW Golf in both VW Cup and Firestone Firehawk Compact Division series, finishing second by just a bumper on the legendary 12-Hour course at Sebring. It was his very first wheel-to-wheel race.
With a Toyota sponsorship and his former wife and fellow race car driver Linda as co-driver, Pobst went all-out pro. The marriage didn’t last, but there are no hard feelings.
“I’m very thankful for her support because I couldn’t have been a pro racer without her,” he said.
In 1988, Pobst was hired as a driver for T.C. Kline’s team, racing Hondas CRXs and Civics and winning plenty of races. With a BMW, Randy took the North American Touring Car Championship.
Ten years later, Pobst switched to the Alex Job Racing Team and their Porsches.
“I won the first race I did for them,” he said.
The Holy Grail for race car drivers, a factory driver contract, arrived for Pobst with Porsche. After a year with that brand, he was contracted by Audi and later by Mazda and Volvo as their driver.
While not racing, he is writing, since Randy serves as tester, journalist and video host for “Motor Trend” magazine. More than 65,000 follow him on Instagram and his YouTube channel currently has 25,000 followers and growing.
Pobst’s testing career has provided him with the highly enviable opportunity to sit behind the wheel of the newest and most powerful Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Corvettes, Camaros, Audis, BMWs and Porsches at tracks around the world, including testing in Italy the Audi R18 prototype that won Le Mans and racing a Porsche at 204 miles per hour at the Shuttle Landing Strip at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Now 63, Randy has no intention of slowing down.
“I still race all I can,” he said. “Racing is very much part of my life.”