Chassis No. 962-010
The Norbert Singer designed Porsche 962C developed out of the Porsche 956 racing car and was a dominant force in sportscar racing for a decade from the early 1980’s. ‘C’ class cars were run under World Sportscar Championship regulations of 1982 that involved fuel restrictions that did not apply to the unlimited fuel classes governed by IMSA GTP regulations. Those latter regulations also necessitated a longer wheel-base which further prompted the 956>962 genesis. [The 962 was finally succeeded by the Porsche WSC-95.]
The 956 had been a winner right from its introduction and became a multi-winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours race. A consequence of this overall competitive superiority was the introduction of a highly profitable customer racing department in 1985 that continued into the 962 era. The privateer teams who snapped up these cars, modifying them in various degrees, guaranteed Porsche’s place in sports car history for that decade: some 91 962s were manufactured between 1984 and 1991 with a mere 16 of those being works factory cars.
As well as its great successes in the Interserie and Supercup series in Europe, the 962 went on to win the IMSA series four years on the trot from 1985-88.
This is the last works-entered Porsche 962 to be built, sponsored by Shell and Dunlop, specifically for the factory team’s final assault on the Le Mans in 1988. Starting from pole with a three second gap to the next 962 and a full six seconds ahead of the fastest Jaguar, it famously ran out of fuel while comfortably leading. Its three drivers, Derek Bell, Hans Stuck, and Klaus Ludwig then worked back towards the lead from a two-lap deficit and finished on the same lap as the winning Jaguar, having spent double the time in the pits.
Car displayed courtesy of Henry Pearman from Monday 21 May to 28 May 2018.