High bid of $875,000 at 2012 RM Auctions - Monterey. (did not sell)
Chassis #: 962DR1 (RLR 202)
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 2012By Jeremy McMullen