John Paul Sr. (racing driver)
|John Paul Sr.|
12 March 1939 |
(if still alive - disappeared in 2001)
|Championships||1980 World Challenge for Endurance Drivers Champion
1979 Trans-Am Cat.2 Champion
John Lee Paul (born Hans-Johan Paul, March 12, 1939 in the Netherlands) was an American racecar driver, convicted felon and fugitive. After his racing career, which saw him win both U.S. classic endurance races, 24 hours at Daytona and 12 hours of Sebring, he served a 15-year prison sentence for a variety of crimes including drug trafficking and shooting a Federal witness. In 2001 he disappeared on his boat while being sought for questioning by officials regarding the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend. As of 2018 Paul's status is unknown. He is sometimes known in the motorsport scene as John Paul Sr. or John Paul.
- 1 Before racing
- 2 Racing career
- 3 Legal trouble
- 4 Racing record
- 5 See also
- 6 References
Paul emigrated to the United States from The Netherlands in 1956 with his family, settling in Muncie, Indiana and legally changing his name to John Lee Paul. He attended Ball State University and then received a scholarship to Harvard University, where he received a master's degree in business. He became a successful mutual fund manager, and a millionaire. In 1960, his wife Joyce gave birth to a son, John Jr., who went on to become a successful driver on his father's team, but also served prison time for joining in some of his father's numerous criminal activities.
Paul started club-level sportscar road racing in the late 1960s, winning the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Northeast Regional Championship in 1968. When his wife and son left him in 1972, Paul left racing for a while, living on a sailboat he had purchased. He resumed racing in 1975 – now with his son, who had chosen to return to him, as a part-time member of his crew. He appeared at 1978 24 Hours of Le Mans for the Dick Barbour Racing team, taking a class win in IMSA GTX class (partnered by fellow American, Dick Barbour and English driver, Brian Redman), in his first attempt at the French classic. This followed his class win in the 12 Hours of Sebring, earlier that season.
In 1979, Paul won the Trans-Am Series race at Mosport by a margin of 33 seconds. He would win a total of six races, en route to winning the Trans-Am title. He had already won the World Challenge for Endurance Drivers title the season before. In 1980, Paul began teaming with his son, and on May 26 Paul remarried to Chalice Alford, holding the ceremony on the infield at Lime Rock Park. Later in the day he teamed with his son to win the day's race, the Coca-Cola 400, making them the first father-son duo to win an IMSA Camel GT race. Even more remarkable, it was Junior's first IMSA GT race he entered. They paired up again to win the Road America Pabst 500. Paul Sr. finished second in the IMSA GT series. 1980 also saw his greatest achievement, winning the World Challenge for Endurance Drivers, by just four points over British driver John Fitzpatrick. Paul was not a particularly fast driver, but was consistent and determined. He also completed mainly in his specially modified Porsche 935s prepared by his own team, JLP Racing, operating out of Lawrenceville, Georgia.
His wife Chalice  vanished without trace in summer 1981 and he later divorced in her absence to seek marriage with Hope, sister of Hurley Haywood in Haiti. In 1982, Paul Sr., teamed up with his son to win the 12 Hours of Sebring and (with third driver Rolf Stommelen) the 24 Hours of Daytona, running a race record (as of 2016) 2,760.960 mi (4,443.334 km). Together, the Pauls won three races. As a solo driver, Junior won another four, all in JLP Racing-prepared Porsche or Lola-Chrevolet T600. 1982 would be Paul Sr.'s last year as a driver, however. The lack of a major sponsor meant that, even with the team's success, his expenses overcame his earnings. In the paddock and off, Paul Sr. was known for his temper tantrums and mood swings that sent fear into everybody including his son, that helped to contribute to the longest of his imprisonments (see below).
The Pauls had their first legal troubles when on January 10, 1979, Paul Jr. and Christopher Schill were caught by customs agents loading equipment onto a pickup truck on the bank of a canal in the Louisiana bayous after dark. Following questioning, when one of them smelled marijuana on their clothing, Paul Sr. was apprehended on his 42-foot boat named Lady Royale, where customs discovered marijuana residue and $10,000 on board. A rented truck was discovered nearby, which contained 1,565 pounds (710 kg) of marijuana. In court, all three pleaded guilty to marijuana possession charges, where each was placed on three years' probation and fined $32,500.
Shooting of Stephen Carson
On April 19, 1983, an individual named Stephen Carson was shot in the chest, abdomen and leg in Crescent Beach, Florida. Carson had been given immunity in a drug trafficking case. He testified that John Paul Sr. had approached him, ordered him into the trunk of his car, and shot at him five times when he fled rather than comply. Paul then fled when a companion of Carson's began shouting. Paul was arrested, but while out on bail fled before his trial. Paul was apprehended by Swiss authorities in January 1985, served a six-month sentence in Switzerland for using a false passport, and was extradited back to the United States in March 1986. At the same time, Paul's son John Jr. pleaded guilty to racketeering and received a five-year sentence, but refused to testify against his father, who had been indicted as the ringleader of a drug trafficking ring that included, among others, both Johns, and John Sr.'s father, Lee. On June 4, 1986, Paul Sr. pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder and received a sentence of twenty years, later expanded to twenty-five years after additional sentences were added.
Attempted prison escape
On March 10, 1987, Paul and another inmate unsuccessfully attempted to escape from prison by spraying a mixture of hot sauce and Pine Sol in a guards face and scaling a 12-foot fence. The guard recovered and fired two shots, scaring the inmates into surrendering. There was a stolen pickup truck in the parking lot that authorities suspect was for the two inmates. Paul served his sentence in USP Leavenworth. Paul was paroled on July 2, 1999, but soon ran into more problems.
Disappearance of Colleen Wood
Shortly following release from prison in 1999, Paul met a woman named Colleen Wood, an office manager. Wood would shortly leave her job, sell her condominium and move in with Paul on his 55-foot schooner to embark on a planned five year around the world boating trip. In December the following year, Wood disappeared, never to be heard from again. Police questioned Paul in connection with the disappearance, but no charges were filed. Paul later disappeared himself, likely in violation of his parole. Shortly after, he was spotted by a passerby in the Fiji Islands who had recognized him from an episode of Unsolved Mysteries then sailed back to Europe. He then sold his sailboat via a magazine classified advert in Italy and was last seen in Thailand. The FBI wish to question him about Wood's disappearance, although they have no new leads. He also appeared in an episode of Disappeared in 2012. As of 2017 the case remains unsolved. Chalice Alford Paul has also been missing since the summer of 1981 and was married to John Paul Sr. At the time and allegedly was last seen with John Paul Sr. In Key West. This disappearance was never investigated by the FBI.
|1977||IMSA Camel GT Challenge ||8th||John Paul||Porsche 911 Carrera RSR
|1978||FIA World Challenge for Endurance Drivers ||1st||Jim Downing
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR
|IMSA Camel GT Challenge ||6th||JLP Racing||Porsche 911 Carrera RSR
|1979||Trans-Am Cat. 2||1st||JLP Racing||Porsche 935 JLP-1|
|1980||FIA World Challenge for Endurance Drivers ||1st||Preston Henn
|Porsche 935 K3
Porsche 935 JLP2
|1981||Camel GT Championship ||12th||JLP Racing||Porsche 935 JLP3
|FIA World Endurance Championship of Drivers ||112th||JLP Racing||Porsche 935 JLP3|
|1982||Camel GT Championship ||3rd||JLP Racing||Porsche 935 JLP3|
|Camel GTO Championship ||41st||Pontiac Firebird|
|FIA World Endurance Championship of Drivers ||103rd||N.A.R.T.||Ferrari 512BB LM|
Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results
|1978||IMSA+2.5||90||G||Porsche 935/77A||Dick Barbour Racing|| Brian Redman
|1980||IMSA||73||G||Porsche 935 JLP-2||J.L.P. Racing|| Guy Edwards
John Paul Jr.
|1982||IMSA GTX||72||M||Ferrari 512BB LM||N.A.R.T.|| Alain Cudini
Complete 24 Hours of Daytona results
|1977||GTO||38||G||Porsche 911 Carrera RSR||John Paul|| John O'steen
|1978||GTO||33||Porsche 911 Carrera RSR||Boricua Motors|| Bonky Fernandez
|1979||GTX||18||Porsche 935 JLP-1||JLP Racing|| Al Holbert
|1980||GTX||09||Porsche 935/77A||Thunderbird Swap Shop||Al Holbert||682||2nd||2nd|
|1981||GTX||18||Porsche 935 JLP-2||JLP Racing|| John Paul Jr.
|1982||GTP||8||Porsche 935 JLP-2||JLP Racing|| John Paul Jr.
|GTP||18||G||Porsche 935 JLP-3||JLP Racing|| John Paul Jr.
|1983||GTP||8||Porsche 935 JLP-4||JLP Racing||Phil Currin||15||DNF
Complete 12 Hours of Sebring results
|1977||GTO||38||G||Porsche 911 Carrera RSR||John Paul Sr.|| John O'steen
|1978||GTO||33||Porsche 911 Carrera RSR||JLP Racing||Bonky Fernandez||233||4th||1st|
|1979||GTX||18||Porsche 935 JLP-1||JLP Racing||Al Holbert||176||DNF
|1980||GTX||09||Porsche 935/77A||Thunderbird Swap Shop|| Preston Henn
|1981||GTX||8||G||Porsche 935 JLP-3||JLP Racing||John Paul Jr.||40||DNF
|1982||GTP||18||G||Porsche 935 JLP-3||JLP Racing||John Paul Jr.||244||1st|
- Top 100 racers Archived 2007-08-27 at the Wayback Machine. at historicracing.com
- Did They Drive Over The Line? Sam Moses, Sports Illustrated, May 27, 1985.
- Gousseau, Alexis. John Paul Jr : IMSA's raw talent, IMSA History, February 13, 2007
- Staff Writers (1986-05-08). "SPORTS PEOPLE: Driver Gets 5 Years". New York Times. Retrieved 2017-07-09.
- "Le Mans 24 Hours 1978". Racing Sports Cars. 1978-11-06. Retrieved 2014-06-13.
- "Sebring 12 Hours 1978". Racing Sports Cars. 1978-03-18. Retrieved 2014-06-13.
- Flashback: 1979 Trans Am Mosport Race Theracesite.com
- http://www.racingsportscar.com.driver/results/John-Paul-USA.html[permanent dead link]
- "World Challenge for Endurance Drivers – final positions and tables". Classicscars.com. 2000-06-16. Retrieved 2014-06-13.
- "Chalice Paul". Nampn.org. 1947-08-31. Retrieved 2014-06-13.
- "Lime Rock Park – Lime Rock Park". Retrieved 18 January 2016.
- Sam Moses (1985-05-27). "Former racer John Paul Sr. and his Indy 500-driving – 05.27.85 – SI Vault". Sportsillustrated.com. Retrieved 2014-06-13.
- "SPAM protection / Ochrana proti SPAMu". Wsrp.ic.cz. Archived from the original on 2014-02-01. Retrieved 2014-06-13.
- "Road America 500 Miles". Retrieved 18 January 2016.
- "Promising Driver John Paul Jr. Is Accused of Aiding Father in Smuggling Ring, Making It. . . : A Rough Road Ahead – Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. 1985-03-10. Retrieved 2014-06-13.
- Joseph Siano (1989-02-05). "Auto Racing; Paul Returns From Prison – New York Times". United States: Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2014-06-13.
- Moses, Sam. Did They Drive Over The Line? Archived 2011-06-03 at the Wayback Machine., Sports Illustrated, May 27, 1985
- Glick, Shav (March 10, 1985). "Promising Driver John Paul Jr. Is Accused of Aiding Father in Smuggling Ring, Making It. . . : A Rough Road Ahead". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 9, 2014.
The shooting occurred on a boat ramp in Crescent Beach, near St. Augustine.
- Auto Racer Flees From His Trial United Press International, December 13, 1983.
- SPORTS PEOPLE; Driver Extradited New York Times, March 30, 1986
- "Paul, inmate use hot sauce in foiled escape attempt". The Associated Press. March 10, 1987. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
- Joseph Siano (1989-02-05). "Auto Racing; Paul Returns From Prison". United States: New York Times. Retrieved 2014-06-13.
- SPORTS PEOPLE; Ex-Racer Pleads Guilty The New York Times June 5, 1986.
- Formula 1 and crime by Joe Saward, Grandprix.com,
- Inmate Locator – John Paul, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Retrieved 2012-01-14
- "Colleen Wood". The Charley Project. Retrieved 2014-06-13.
- Missing: Colleen Wood Archived 2011-06-14 at the Wayback Machine. web site of Unseen Mysteries'.
- "IMSA Camel GT Challenge 1977 standings | Driver Database". Driverdb.com. Retrieved 2014-06-13.
- "IMSA Camel GT Challenge – GTU 1978 standings | Driver Database". Driverdb.com. Retrieved 2014-06-13.
- "World Sportscar Championship 1980 standings | Driver Database". Driverdb.com. Retrieved 2014-06-13.
- "IMSA Camel GT Challenge 1981 standings | Driver Database". Driverdb.com. Retrieved 2014-06-13.
- "World Sportscar Championship 1981 standings | Driver Database". Driverdb.com. Retrieved 2014-06-13.
- http://www.driverdb.com/championships/standings/imsa-camel-gtp-champion/1982/[permanent dead link]
- "IMSA Camel GTO 1982 standings | Driver Database". Driverdb.com. Retrieved 2014-06-13.
- "FIA World Endurance Championship 1982 standings | Driver Database". Driverdb.com. Retrieved 2014-06-13.