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  Porsche 962C
 

  Article Image gallery (447) Chassis (13) 962-011 Specifications User Comments (9)  
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Country of origin:Germany
Produced from:1985 - 1989
Internal name:962
Predecessor:Porsche 956
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:January 01, 2005
Download: All images
Chassis: 962-011
Even though the factory effort was halted after the 1988 season, this new-for-1989 962C was allocated a works chassis number as it was due to be raced by the heavily supported Joest Racing team. It was built up around a spare monocoque that had originally been designated 962-142. In an effort to make the now seven year old design more competitive, this car featured relocated suspension pick-up points and a revised rear body with a separate rear wing in a quest for more downforce. Liveried in Blaupunkt colours, it was raced extensively by Joest both in national events and the shorter rounds of the World Championship. In the hands of Bob Wollek, chassis 962-011 won the ADAC Eiffelrennen on the Nürburgring at its debut and again scored victory in the BRDC Supersprint a fortnight later. More significantly, Wollek and Frank Jelinski drove the car to victory in the World Championship round at Dijon, which would be the very last Group C World Championship win for the 962C. At the end of the year, Wollek won again at the Nürburgring.

With Group C favouring naturally aspirated, Formula 1 inspired engines from the 1990 season onwards, turbocharged cars like the 962C were penalised by regulation changes. This prompted Joest to focus on the IMSA GTP Championship instead. In Primagaz colours, it was campaigned at Daytona and Sebring and selected other rounds during the 1990 and 1991 season but with limited success. Although fitted with a higher downforce rear wing, the low-drag emphasis of the original design meant that the 962C was still far short in the levels reached by the IMSA rivals like Nissans and Toyotas. In an attempt to address this issue, Joest turned to Porsche's lead engineer Norbert Singer, who helped device a more thoroughly revised aerodynamics package for the 1992 season, which was honed in the Porsche wind-tunnel. Among the changes were subtle tweaks to the nose, new extractor vents behind the front wheels and ultimately a biplane rear wing inspired by the 1991 World Championship winning Jaguar XJR-14. The top element was placed relatively high to generate as much downforce as possible in the relatively clean air, while the second wing effectively served as an extension of the ground effect tunnels.

For the 1992 season, Joest partnered with Gianpiero Moretti, and the car was run in his Momo colours. Manufacturing delays meant that the rear wing, which was built as a unit in England, was not ready until the third round of the IMSA GTP championship. It was an instant success as the two Joest cars finished fourth and sixth (this car). Although still not quite at the level of the rivalling machines that featured designs that were ten years younger, the biplane Porsches were certainly more competitive. Moretti ended the year sixth in the standings behind Oscar Larrauri, who piloted the sister car. Liveried in FATurbo colours, this car was raced at Daytona in 1993 by an all-star crew of Danny Sullivan, Hurley Haywood, Chip Robinson and Henri Pescarolo but it sadly failed to finish the race. It served at a T-car at Sebring and then finished third at Road Atlanta and second at Road America, where the sister car won. Its final contemporary race was the October 1993 Interserie round at Zeltweg where Manuel Reuter won both heats, giving a fine farewell. Joest also tested the high downforce configuration at Le Mans, where it proved seven seconds faster over a single lap than the regular long-tail cars but ever the conservatives, Porsche pushed to run the low drag cars at the 1993 race instead.

Following its five-season career Joest Racing retained the car, along with its similarly equipped sister car (962-016) and also restored a third car (962-012) to this specification even though it was never raced in this guise. Eventually the German team decided to let this, and the third car go. It was acquired by American collector and historic racer Aaron Hsu. Among his outings with the car was a race at Spa in 2006, which he won, beating the current owner, who ran a 'regular' 962C. Recognising the significance of this car, he asked Hsu to get in touch if he ever decided to sell it. Hsu did so early in 2007 and the current owner raced the car extensively in 2008 and 2009. Nearly a decade later, he decided to dust the car off and brought it out for the 2016 Spa Classic, where it faced, among others, the very Jaguar XJR-14 that had inspired it. A strong drive saw chassis 962-011 win both 45-minute races. The race machine's next outing will be for the Group C support race at the Le Mans Classic in July.


Chassis details
Manufactured in 1989
First owner Joest Racing
Major wins
1989 480 km Dijon (Bob Wollek / Frank Jelinski)
Last known location British Private Collection
Appearances

2016 Spa Classic 2016 Spa Classic 2016 Spa Classic 2016 Spa Classic
2016 Spa Classic 2016 Spa Classic 2016 Spa Classic 2016 Spa Classic
2016 Spa Classic 2016 Spa Classic 2016 Spa Classic 2016 Spa Classic
2016 Spa Classic 2016 Spa Classic 2016 Spa Classic 2016 Spa Classic
2016 Spa Classic 2016 Spa Classic 2016 Spa Classic 2016 Spa Classic
2016 Spa Classic 2016 Spa Classic 2016 Spa Classic 2016 Spa Classic
2016 Spa Classic 2008 Goodwood Festival of Speed 2008 Goodwood Festival of Speed 2008 Goodwood Festival of Speed
2008 Goodwood Festival of Speed 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans
2008 24 Hours of Le Mans 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans
2008 24 Hours of Le Mans 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans
2008 24 Hours of Le Mans 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans

  Article Image gallery (447) Chassis (13) 962-011 Specifications User Comments (9)