High bid of $875,000 at 2012 RM Sothebys. (did not sell) When one thinks of sportscar endurance racing and the decade of the 1980s, undoubtedly thoughts stray to the Jaguar XJR models, the Nissan prototypes, or maybe even the Sauber Mercedes-Benz C9s. But the 1980s in sportscar endurance motor racing most certainly causes thoughts to stray to Porsche and its dominant 956 and 962 variants. And just as these models dominated Le Mans throughout the 1980s, they also dominated IMSA Camel GT racing in the United States.
There was absolutely nothing wrong with the performance of the 956, but it would be concerns over safety, and the 956's lack of obedience to the IMSA Camel GT rules that would eventually lead to the evolution that would become known as the 962. Initially introduced with a 2.8-liter flat six cylinder engine and a single KKK turbocharger, the new 962 would be quick right from the very start, taking pole at the 1984 Daytona 24 hour race.
As a customer car, the 962 made top results more than possible. Being a customer car, teams would also have the flexibility to make changes they deemed necessary in order to evolve the chassis and make it perform even better. This would give rise to some of the most famous privateer names in sportscar racing. Teams like Kremer, Obermaier Racing, Brun Motorsport, and others, would all draw their success from the capabilities of the Porsche 962.
The Porsche 962 would dominate GTP racing in North America from 1985 through 1987. Then, in 1988, the Porsche 962 would face its toughest challenge yet. Regulation changes would be introduced in order to limit the dominance of the Porsche. On top of the regulation restrictions, a factory Nissan team would introduce its new ZX-T that featured an innovative electronically-controlled waste gate on the turbocharger.
But while the regulations and the presence of a strong factory Nissan team would certainly provide competition, perhaps the greatest challenge facing teams using the 962 was the lack of factory support. Each would be left to their own talents and hard work. The lack of factory support would cause small teams, like that owned by Rob Dyson, to look to independent engineering companies to help evolve their 962s.
Dyson, therefore, turned to Richard Lloyd and his Silverstone-based Racing/GTi Engineering. One of the complaints owners had about the 962 was the lack of rigidity in the aluminum chassis. However, Lloyd's firm addressed this issue by using composite honeycomb construction. Nigel Stroud would design the 962 using this technology and would cause the firm to become quite famous for their work. With the addition of a new suspension and brake design, Dyson knew that Lloyd's engineering firm had the answer for the new regulations and the coming Nissan threat.
Though still a Porsche 962, the evolutions made by Lloyd's firm would lead to the Porsche 962 becoming an almost entirely new car. As a result, many that would come to Lloyd's engineering firm would leave with a different chassis number altogether. One of those would be a 962 offered by RM Auctions in Monterey in 2012.
Chassis 962DR1 would be so named as it was built for Rob Dyson racing. However, the very same chassis would be known, according to Richard Lloyd's Racing/GTi Engineering company as RLR 202.
Dyson's updated 962 would first appear at West Palm Beach for the fifth round of the IMSA Camel GT championship in 1988. Amongst the Porsches in the field, DR1 would prove to be fastest. In its first race, DR1 would end up finishing the race in 3rd place overall and would gain valuable points toward the championship.
The valuable points earned in West Palm Beach would combine with the victory earned at Miami earlier in the year and would keep the battle for the championship tight after John Morton and Geoff Brabham scored two-straight victories at the 4th and 5th rounds of the championship. However, the championship seemed to be a lost cause after the number 83 Nissan scored six-straight victories.
However, just when it seemed like the championship was lost, Dyson and his DR1 Porsche 962 would come through in a big way taking the victory in San Antonio toward the end of the season. That victory, and other top finishes, would help Dyson Racing secure the championship by just one point over Nissan. Once again, the venerable Porsche 962, even in privateer hands, would come through victorious.
It was clear, however, the days of the Porsche 962 were severely numbered. And, after taking the 1988 championship, DR1 would be retired by Dyson. Still, the car would take part in a couple of events during the 1990 and 1991 seasons before it was acquired by George Stauffer.
Stauffer would hold onto the car for a while before it wound up in the hands of Larry Wilson an avid vintage racer. While in Mr. Wilson's possession, DR1 would do anything but sit in the back corner of some collection. DR1 would take part in several events. In 2004, the Porsche 962 would take part in the Rennsport Reunion II. Then, in 20006, the car would be seen at the Concours de Graylyn Car Festival. Not long after that appearance DR1 would be sold.
Sold in 2007, DR1 would not go to a racing enthusiast. Instead, it would go to Steve Godin, a Rolex Sports Car Series driver. Almost immediately after taking ownership of the car Godin would enter the car in the Rennsport Reunion III.
At every event DR1 is entered it looks absolutely resplendent in its original RLR/GTi bodywork with the blue and white livery and Blaupunkt sponsorship. The quality of this car owes to the fact it never suffered any major accident or damage while at the hands of Price Cobb, Rob Dyson, John Paul Jr., James Weaver or Bill Adam. However, all of this doesn't mean DR1 has not undergone some restoration work.
In fact, a few years ago Paul Willison and specialists from SpeedWerks, in North Carolina, would be commissioned to restore the car and maintain its racing condition. In addition to this work, the car was recently, under its latest owner, thoroughly race prepped and is eligible for all IMSA GTP/Group C vintage events without restriction.
The last IMSA Championship winning Porsche 962, DR1 is certainly an exceptional example of the famed Porsche prototypes. Restored and highly original, with a very successful racing past, this particular 962 certainly deserves a place of honor within any collection, even within Porsche's vast and extensive racing history. As such, chassis 962DR1 (RLR 202) was estimated to draw between $1,200,000 and $1,600,000 at auction.
Sources: 'Lot No. 222: 1987 Porsche 962 IMSA Camel GT Racing Car', (http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=MO12&CarID=r220). RM Auctions. http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=MO12&CarID=r220. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
'1987 Porsche 962C News, Pictures and Information', (http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z6073/Porsche-962C.aspx). Conceptcarz.com: From Concept to Production. http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z6073/Porsche-962C.aspx. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
Golfen, Bob. 'Vintage: Auction Offers 12 Special Porsches', (http://automotive.speedtv.com/article/vintage-rare-porsches-at-auction/). Speed. http://automotive.speedtv.com/article/vintage-rare-porsches-at-auction/. Retrieved 9 August 2012
Wikipedia contributors, '1988 IMSA GT Championship season', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 5 May 2012, 09:21 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=1988_IMSA_GT_Championship_season&oldid=490762969 accessed 9 August 2012 By Jeremy McMullen
Toward the end of 1984 Porsche would display its newest sports-prototype racing car. One year later, this new car would make its first official debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona with Mario and Michael Andretti behind the wheel. The car would go on to lead for more than 100 laps but would end up retiring with gearbox related. Despite its fruitless introduction to IMSA and GTP and Group C racing, the Porsche 962 would go on to become one of the most dominant cars in all of motor racing.
In 1982, Norbert Singer had designed and built the 956 for Porsche to compete in the FIA World Sportscar Championship. In its first attempt at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 956 would be driven by Jacky Ickx and Derek Bell to an overall win after having led the whole event.
The 956 would go on to score a number of important victories and would even be the type of car in which Stefan Bellof would use to set his all-time lap record around the Nurburgring Nordschleife.
However, by the end of the 1983 season it was obvious there was room for improvement. One important area many believed the 956 needed to be greatly improved was in the area of safety. Ironically it would be in a 956 that Stefan Bellof would come to die, and after having collided with Jacky Ickx in the new 962.
Because of the success of the 956, the new 962 originally was intended for the American markets and the IMSA GTP series. The 956 had been banned in the United States and the IMSA series because the car's design placed the driver's feet ahead of the car's front axle. This made the driver's legs as much a part of the crash structure as the structure itself. In addition to the issue of the positioning of the driver's legs, the 956 lacked a roll cage incorporated into the chassis. This only added to the safety concerns surrounding the 956. These factors would need to be take into consideration into a new car design.
Norbert Singer, the same man that created the 956, would set to work creating the 962. Very simply, Singer would take and extend the length of the wheelbase on the new car. He would also go an extra step and would incorporate the roll cage into the chassis of the car.
Twin-turbo systems were not allowed in the IMSA class at the time. Therefore, Singer would turn to a 2.8-liter flat-six that would use a single turbocharger. When the car would later be adapted for use in Group C twin-turbocharged engines would be allowed along with the 2.6-liter engine used in the 956. Later variants of the 962 would even use engines with sizes ranging from 2.8 up to 3.2-liters.
When Singer and his team were done they would create a car in which Derek Bell would exclaim was quite, 'a fabulous car…it was really quite easy to drive.' The car was so fabulous it would go on to score more than 180 victories; more than the 956 it was meant to replace.
Porsche, between 1984 and 1991, would go on to build 91 962 chassis. Of those 91, only 16 would be used by the factory team. The rest would be sold to customers like Richard Lloyd Racing. One of those 962s sold to Richard Lloyd Racing would be made available at this year's Bonhams Quail Lodge Sale in Carmel, California.
Chassis RLR 962-106B would be one of those 962s that would have the honor of adding to the car's legend while it was seen on the racetracks of the world.
The footbox placement issue made the 956 illegal for obvious safety reasons. Therefore, Richard Lloyd switched to the 962 for the upcoming 1986 season. Fully intending to take advantage of what the 962 had to offer, Lloyd's group would take the 962 and would make some very important tweaks.
At the time, Tom Walkinshaw Racing's Jaguars were becoming major players in the Group C field. The Jags, designed by Tony Southgate, would prove fast and quite capable. Therefore, Nigel Stroud would see if it could employ some of the same design features existing on the Jaguar into their 962.
When Stroud was finished, their 962 would bear a tremendous similarity to Walkinshaw's cats. The nose would be redesigned slightly and would appear to be an obvious blending of the 962's nose and aspects from the Jaguar. But the similarities wouldn't begin and end with the nose. Stroud would take another page from the Jaguar design and would apply wheel skirts to the rear wheels. This would help to make the car even more similar to the Jaguars. Chassis 962-106B would be one of those 'tweaked' Porsches.
The chassis would end up being driven by Mauro Baldi and Jonathan Palmer throughout the 1987 season. The changes made to the car would make an immediate impact. In spite of some retirements 962-106B would go on win at Norisring. In addition, the car would also go on to finish 2nd at the Brands Hatch 1000km. The car would even earn a well-deserved 5th place result at the 1000km of the Nurburgring. The success of the car was due, in most part, to the fact the tweaks made it blindingly quick. Its blazing speed would enable Jochen Mass to take the car and finish 1987 with a win at Kyalami in South Africa.
After a rather successful 1987 season, 962-106B would be purchased the Nisseki Trust team and would be headed off to Japan to take part in the Japan Sports Prototype Championship. While part of that series, 962-106B would be driven by George Fouche and Steven Andskar. In their hands the car would go on to earn a number of podium finishes.
As presented for auction, 962-106B comes in the livery it wore during the 1991 Japan Sports Prototype Championship. With its Porsche pedigree, its unique body-styling and proven success on the race track it was little wonder the car, much of which remains quite original, was expected to command between $500,000 and $600,000 at auction.
Sources: 'Sale 193363: Lot No: 29: 1987 Porsche Type 962 Group C Racing Coupe', (http://www.bonhams.com/usa/auction/19363/lot/29/). Bonhams. http://www.bonhams.com/usa/auction/19363/lot/29/. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
Wikipedia contributors, 'Porsche 962', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 17 June 2011, 03:55 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Porsche_962&oldid=434703515 accessed 7 September 2011
Wikipedia contributors, 'Porsche 956', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 2 July 2011, 03:48 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Porsche_956&oldid=437336536 accessed 7 September 2011
'Porsche 962C', (http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/car/754/Porsche-962C-.html). Ultimatecarpage.com: Powered by Knowledge, Driven by Passion. http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/car/754/Porsche-962C-.html. Retrieved 7 September 2011. By Jeremy McMullen
The Porsche 962 was designed for the International Motor Sports Association GTP racing and as a replacement for the Porsche 956. The 956 had been a highly successful race car and had captured many triumphs including the 24 Hours Le Mans and the FIA series.
American John Bishop, the founder of the International Motor Sports Association, was responsible for the longer wheelbase on the 956. When the 956 was introduced, Bishop refused to accept the vehicle partly because of safety concerns. The pedals were mounted in front of the front axle line. To comply with safety concerns and new regulations, the 956 was stretched to make room for the pedal box. A roll cage was later added.
The Porsche 962 was first raced by the factory in the 1984 season which opened at the Daytona 24 Hours. Driven by Mario and Michael Anderti, it was retired due to engine and gearbox problems. A total of five Porsche 962 models had been constructed for the 1984 season and all were powered by a 2.8-liter water-cooled power plant. Part-way through the season, a 3.2-liter Type 935 six-cylinder engine with mechanically injected turbo was placed into one of the 962 models. A short-tail improved the aerodynamics and the Porsche 962 was poised to conquer the racing circuit. Which it did, capturing victories at the Daytona 24 Hours race five times.
The Porsche 962C, introduced in 1985 for the World Endurance Championship, had a twin-turbocharged 3000 cc water-cooled engine producing 750 horsepower. The engines were built to last 26 hours. This included two hours for testing and then racing for 24 hours straight. The acceleration, braking, and road handling was impressive, thanks in-part to its 900 kg bodyweight. The aerodynamics was effective at holding the car on the road. During a qualification run at LeMans during the 1985 season, it proved to be the quickest vehicle. However, at the end of the 24 hour race it was in second place to a Porsche 956, the 956 having scored its fourth consecutive victory. The Porsche 956 chassis number 117 became on of the few in history to achieve back-to-back first place trophies at LeMans, winning in 1984 and 1985. The vehicle had been entered by Privateer Reinhold Joest.
The World Endurance Championship, WEC, changed the name to World Sports Prototype Championship, WSPC, in 1986. The Porsche 962 had another successful season, similar to 1985. At LeMans, two of the three Porsche 962C's entered were retired due to mechanical problems. The final Porsche 962C was able to score victory.
In 1987, the FIA adopted the IMSA regulation requiring the pedal-box to be installed behind the front-axle, making the Porsche 956 obsolete. The Porsche 962 was showing its age as the Jaguars and Mercedes were beginning to outpace the vehicle at most of the World Championship races. For LeMans however, the 962 captured its sixth consecutive victory after most of the field had been forced to retire. It was the last LeMans victory for the Porsche 962 until 1994 when enough examples had been produced making it eligible for the newly created GT1 class.
For over ten years, the Porsche 962 dominated the racing circuit to include the 24 Hours of LeMans, Daytona, FIA and IMSA racing. The Porsche 962 was so popular and so competitive that even their 1,000,000 price tag could not keep up with demand. Nearly 150 were sold and because of such a large customer program, every component was available off the shelf direct from Porsche. By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2011
Sold for $825,000 at 2012 Mecum. Porsche 962-C04 was the last car campaigned by Bob Akin in the IMSA series. Mr. Akin took delivery of this Coca-Cola sponsored air-cooled IMSA 962 in late 1987. For the first time in Akin's career, he did not drive his team car in a race. Once the 1987 season was finished this 962 would be retired unscathed from IMSA competition and after only three races. Atkin himself would retire from professional racing.
The car finished fifth in its maiden outing at the Road America 500 in the hands of drivers James Weaver and Vern Schuppan. This was followed up with an effort by Hurley Haywood and Weaver at Columbus with an 8th place finish. The final race for C04 was the Del Mar 2-hour with James Weaver as the sole driver.
Since then, the car has been campaigned in the Historic Sportscar Racing series with great success. It is currently finished in Yokohama/Paradyne Black and Red livery. By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2012
This vehicle was the overall winner of the 1987 24 Hours of LeMans driven by Hans-Joachim Stuck, Derek Bell and Al Holbert who ran largely uncontested from start to finish. The car is powered by a 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine developing 670 horsepower.
Porsche created the 956 during the early 1980s for FIA Group C competition. The design and components of the vehicle would further evolve over the years and become known as the 962. The 956 project was lead by a very determined and experienced project manager named Norbert Singer, who had his sights set on winning the 24 Hours of LeMans race. With Derek Bell and Jacky Ixckx, the factory team drivers, the cars easily dominated the season and won the championship for the team.
The 956 was an evolution of the 935 and 936 cars which had proven to be very competitive racers. Porsche chose to stick with the tried-and-true, reliable flat-six engine which had powered the Porsche 936 to a LeMans victory. It was fitted with an electronic engine management system to help reduce fuel consumption. The FIA had imposed a limit of 100 liters per fuel tank size and allowed only 25 refuelings. The idea was to add an extra level of difficulty for teams and to inspire creativity and innovation. By doing so, they were hopeful that new technology would be born that could trickle down to production vehicles.
Porsche chose to stick with the smaller engine and adapt a turbocharger, another attempt at combating the fuel restriction rules.
The body was very modern, aerodynamic, and elegant. Extensive use of exotic materials, and ground effects were employed that included a venturi positioned between the front wheels, rear wing, and rear venturi. The chassis was comprised of a very rigid monocoque comprised of aluminum and a composite body.
The Porsche 956 made its inaugural debut in 1982 at the Silverstone 6 Hour race, the second round of the World Championship for Makes. The car was piloted by the factory drivers, Jacky Ickx and Derek Bell. They missed the second round at the Nurburgring 1000km but returned for the running of the 25 Hours of LeMans. The cars led the entire race and captured the checkered flag. The three factory Porsche's finished in the top three positions.
After proving the potential of the 956, Porsche began selling them to privateers such as Kremer Racing, John Fitzpatrick, Richard Lloyd, Brumm Motorsports, and more. Porsche continued to make improvements to the vehicles such as reducing the overall weight by incorporating even lighter aluminum chassis. The aerodynamics were improved which made the car quicker and more fuel efficient. Additional safety features were added such as a tire pressure warning system. At the 1983 LeMans, the cars bearing the Porsche badge took nine out of the top ten positions.
The Porsche 962 was based on the 956 and intended for IMSA GTP class competition. To prepare the car for competition, the vehicle required changes to bring it into alignment with ever-changing rules and regulations. For 1984, rules stated that the pedal box had to be mounted behind the front axle. To comply, the wheelbase of the 956 was extended to accommodate additional space. A steel roll cage was also integrated into the car at the time.
The factory began work on a larger engine. In the meantime, Porsche had to find a replacement for the twin K27 turbochargers since twin-turbo's did not comply with GTP class racing regulations at the time. In its place, a single Kühnle, Kopp und Kausch AG K36 turbocharger was fitted.
Porsche named this updated version of the 956, the 962. Five examples were debuted at the 24 Hours of Daytona. One was driven by factory drivers, Mario and Michael Andretti, while the other four were privateer entrants. The factory car led most of the race and appeared that it would go on to claim overall victory, but it was side-lined due to engine and gearbox problems after 127 laps.
For the following season, Porsche created the 962C, which featured a 3.2-liter engine and twin-turbochargers. It was entered in the World Endurance Championship where it was beaten by a 956. For 1987, another new engine was introduced. Though it was in 3-liter form, it was more powerful and durable than the unit it was replacing. The engine carried Porsche to its seventh consecutive victory at the 24 Hours of LeMans.
The Porsche 956 and 962 were very dominate vehicles which lasted for nearly ten years. From 1985 through 1987 they won the IMSA GTP. They were World Sportscar Champions from 1982 through 1986 and are considered the most successful prototype race car in the history of motor sports.
During the early 1990s, Jochen Dauger was able to get the 962 reclassified as a GT1 road-legal car. They were raced at the 1994 24 Hours of LeMans and captured its final overall victory. By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2007
The 20 Porsche 919 Hybrid with drivers (left to right) Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard, and Brendon Hartley, at Le Mans tech inspection earlier today in the town of Le Mans.
Dateline. Le Mans, France
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