Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame 2021 Inductee Randy Pobst Honed His Driving Skills as Teenager in Brevard
By Space Coast Daily // October 23, 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.”
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame selection committee announced the members of the Class of 2021 during a press conference on Thursday.
For more than a century, athletes from Brevard County have been considered among the finest in America and their accomplishments are honored and immortalized by the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.
Plans are now in the works for the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame’s 11th induction ceremony, which will include compelling video tributes of each of the inductees.
The date and venue of the induction of the 2020 and 2021 Classes of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame will be announced later this month.
The 2020 induction ceremony event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
SELECTED IN FOUR CATEGORIES
Nominees are chosen in four categories including professional sports, college sports, high school sports and amateur sports. Special honorary recognition is also be bestowed upon individuals and groups that have made significant contributions to sports on the Space Coast.
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2021:
■ PROFESSIONAL CATEGORY INDUCTEE: Amber Torrealba, Skimboarding; Randy Pobst, Auto racing
■ COLLEGE CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Lynisha Nelson, Basketball; Bryan Cook, Baseball; Steve Freeman, Soccer
■ PREP CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Julie Wollrath, Cross Country; Kaira Simmons, Track & Field; Cameron Harris, Jr., Football
■ AMATEUR/RECREATION CATEGORY INDUCTEE: Alli Penovich, Free Diving
■ COACHING CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Lee Mace, Football; Jim Oler, Basketball
■ SPORTS OFFICIAL INDUCTEE: Klaus Stafe
■ SPORTS JOURNALISM INDUCTEE: Capt. Eric Ciocher
■ SPORTS DEVELOPMENT INDUCTEE: Charles Clemente
■ LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT INDUCTEE: Larry Garrison
■ SPORTS AMBASSADOR AWARD INDUCTEE: Rusty Buchanan
■ CHALLENGER AWARD INDUCTEE: Jordan Episcopo
■ TEAM OF THE YEAR: Astronaut High School Bowling
■ LEGACY CHAMPIONS: Merritt Island Baseball, 1999-2000
■ SPECIAL TRIBUTE: Fred Gay
COMING SOON TO SPACE COAST DAILY: INDUCTEE PROFILES AND VIDEO TRIBUTES
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE MEMBERS OF THE SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Tim Wakefield talks about his induction into the first class of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.
Space Coast Daily created the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame in 2011 and has so far inducted more than 190 of Brevard County’s most outstanding athletes, coaches and sports personalities.
The main athletic building on the Melbourne Campus hosts the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame, as portraits of the Hall of Famers are displayed on the wall in the building’s main hallway that runs parallel to the gym and outside the athletic department offices.
Serving on the committee are Space Coast Daily President & Publisher Tom Palermo, Vice President Giles Malone, Editor-in-Chief Dr. Jim Palermo, Managing Editor Zach Clark, the Friday Night Locker Room’s Steve Wilson and Orville Susong, Sports Editor Juan Rodriguez, Social Media Director Matt O’Hern, Assistant Editor Rhett Lighthall, Digital Producer Ron Lighthall, Production Director Brian Dillon, Sports Broadcaster Daryl Durand and Amateur Athletic Union President Rusty Buchanan.
The Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame induction event and the High School Breakfast of Champions recognition awards are sponsored by Health First, Erdman Automotive, All Points, Clear Choice Health Care, Savings Safari, Friday Night Locker Room and Rock Paper Simple.
FOR INFORMATION about the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame, e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com or call 321-615-8111.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE MEMBERS OF THE SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
CLICK HERE FOR BREVARD COUNTY NEWS