1989 Porsche 962

History

Porsche met Group C regulations introduced by FISA in 1982 with a fresh concept. This new car would be the focal point of factory racing efforts. These new Group C regulations led to the re-birth of the two-seat, special race sports car which no longer had to be declared a prototype for some future production car, but rather was seen as a high-performance vehicle in its own right.

The 956 from which evolved the later 962, developed to comply with American IMSA race regulations but raced around the globe - was the first Porsche race car with a monocoque chassis and an aerodynamically designed underside to generate ground effects to literally suck the car down into firmer contact with the track. The use of advanced fuel injection and ignition systems not only enabled the 2.6-liter engine to develop 630bhp but combined this with low fuel consumption - a crucial advantage given the racing regulations of the time.

The sporting career of the 956 was no less impressive; right off the drawing board and only a few weeks after the first cars were built, the 956 scored an impressive 1-2-3 victory in the 1982 Le Mans 24 Hours endurance classic. That same year brought the World Championship for Makes trophy to Porsche and the World Endurance Drivers' Championship for Porsche factory driver Jacky Ickx, of Belgium.

In 1983, Porsche offered the car to customers to race themselves alongside the factory-supported team. So began an unrivaled run of success in World Endurance Championship racing, and at Le Mans, that continued well into the 1990s.

Source - Porsche UK

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

1989 Vehicle Profiles

1989 Porsche 962 vehicle information

Coupe

Chassis Num: 962-108 (962-108C)

Porsche 962-108 was a factory built car was one of four cars originally allotted to Jim Busby Racing. The car debuted at the 1985 24 Hours of Daytona and was crashed at night by Pete Halsmer while trying to avoid a back marker. The tub was damaged be....[continue reading]

1989 Porsche 962 vehicle information

Coupe

Chassis Num: TS-962-89-002

One of the three carbon fiber tubbed 962s built by Schuppan....[continue reading]

1989 Porsche 962 vehicle information

Coupe

Chassis Num: HM008

This Porsche 962 was originally completed as a Bayside Racing show car for IMSA drivers Dominic Dobson and Bruce Leven. It was never raced in-period, as it was originally a rolling chassis without an engine. In the 1990s Andial Racing installed a reb....[continue reading]

Coupe
Chassis #: 962-108 (962-108C) 
Coupe
Chassis #: TS-962-89-002 
Coupe
Chassis #: HM008 


Group C Vehicles

Concepts by Porsche

Porsche Monthly Sales Volume

December 2019
4,733
November 2019
6,326
October 2019
5,447
September 2019
5,213
August 2019
4,636
July 2019
4,956
June 2019
5,205
May 2019
5,010
April 2019
5,018
March 2019
4,779
February 2019
4,826
January 2019
5,419
Additional Sales Volume Data


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