Porsche 962 C 1st Le Mans 1986
Topic starter 17/06/2022 5:56 am
When the Porsche 956 was developed in late 1981, the intention of Porsche was to run the car in both the World Sportscar Championship and the North American IMSA GTP Championship. However IMSA GTP regulations differed from Group C and subsequently the 956 was banned in the US series on safety grounds as the driver's feet were ahead of the front axle center line.
To make the 956 eligible under the new IMSA regulations, Porsche extended the 956's wheelbase to move the front wheels ahead of the pedal box. This was called the 962 while the World Championship car as used at Le Mans was the 962 C.
The newer Andial built 3.2L fuel injected flat-6 would be placed in the 962 by the middle of 1985 for IMSA GT, which made the car more competitive against Jaguar.
However it would not be until 1986 that the 2.6L unit from the 956 was replaced in the World Sportscar Championship, using 2.8L, 3.0L, and 3.2L variants with dual turbochargers. The cars run under World Sportscar Championship regulations were designated as 962C to separate them from their IMSA GTP counterparts. The 3.2L unit, which had been eligible under IMSA's Group 3 engine rules, was banned by IMSA in 1987.
For 1986, the new works Rothmans sponsored Porsche 962C No. 1 of Hans-Joachim Stuck, Derek Bell and Al Holbert was able to overcome the two-time defending winners at Joest Racing. The race itself was marred by the death of Jo Gartner in a crash on the Mulsanne Straight early on Sunday morning while running in 8th place. The sole remaining Kremer Racing Porsche retired soon after the accident. The Joest/Ludwig car suffered from engine bearing failure following the extended pace car laps.
In total, Porsche would produce 91 962s between 1984 and 1991. 16 were officially used by the factory team, while 75 were sold to customers.
The Porsche 962 C 1st Le Mans 1986 by Spark.
17/06/2022 7:04 pm
Thanks for the history David - now I know why there are 956s and 962s! I have that Spark as well.