Following on from yesterdays Lancia LC2 blog today I am looking at a FATurbo Express sponsored Porsche 962 C that used to be run in Group C races by the Joest Team in the second of a series of three blogs on Group C cars.
The Porsche 962 was born out of the Porsche 956 programme in 1985, the principle difference between the two models is that the drivers feet are behind the front axle line in the 962 which affords the driver better protection in the event of a frontal accident.
The 962 was built to compete with twin turbo motors in the World Prototype Sportscar Championship and with single turbo motors in the IMSA GTP series. 962’s are known to have won 82 races of at least 250 races that they competed in. Although the Porsche factory raced the 962 it increasingly left it’s customers to represent the marque from 1987 on, apart from the riveting 1988 Le Mans 24 hour race.
Former Porsche driver Reinhold Joest’s team continued to receive support from the Porsche factory at Le Mans in 1989 and 1990. Indeed to emphasise the level of backing Joest received from Porsche the last 6, of 16, works built Porsche 962 chassis all went to the Joest Team.
This chassis is thought to be #962-011 the last of the 956/962 series to win a World Prototype Sports Car championship event at Dijon, France driven by Bob Wollek and Frank Jelinski in May 1989. Chassis #962-011 is thought to have won at least 8 other races the last of which was an open formula Interserie event at Zeltweg, Austria in the hands of Manuel Reuter in October 1993.
The #962-011 chassis raced with FAT International colours, thought to be a european logisitics company, in the 1993 Daytona 24 hours with Chip Robinson (USA)/Hurley Haywood (USA)/Henri Pescarolo (F)/Danny Sullivan (USA) listed as drivers but running with the #6. At it’s next race the Sebring 12 Hours the car appeared as a back up car for ‘John Winter’ and Manuel Reuter carrying the #7 T.
This car is not carrying standard Porsche 962 bodywork, as Jaguar and later Mercedes became increasingly competitive in Group C events Porsche customers undertook their own aerodynamic development programme’s to stay competitive.
Joest Racing won the Le Mans 24 hours twice with private Porsche 956 entries in 1984 and 1985 and then twice again with Porsche powered TWR chassis in 1996 and 1997. Today Joest is known as a crack Audi team having clocked up 5 wins at Le Mans running the Audi R8 (3 wins), R10TDI, and this year the R18TDI.
This car has taken part in the Group C race at the Silverstone Classic before, I have not seen an entry list for this years event, but I am hoping Paragon who run the car will be able to bring it along again this year.
My thanks to Thundersport and Porsche expert Mike at The Nostalgia Forum who confirmed the chassis number.
Hope you have enjoyed today’s FAT Turbo Express edition of ‘Gettin’ a little psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow for a look under the skin of a Japanese Group C car built in England. Don’t forget to come back now !