Porsche 962C #17 – Spark

1987 Porsche 962C 
Pilots: H-J. Stuck Jr, D. Bell, A. Holbert 
Team: Porsche Rothmans AG 
Race: 1st overall (C1 class) at Le Mans in 1987 
Spark - S0492 (resin) 

Published 10/08/18

Porsche 962C #6 (06/25/18):
Though extremely successful in the European endurance circuit, Porsche couldn’t use the mighty 956 in the North American IMSA championship. IMSA regulations were more lax about engine characteristics, but they were much more strict in terms of safety. As fantastic as the 956 was as a race car, it wasn’t exactly a safe car. One of it’s main issues was that the pedals were located in front of the front axle, exposing the pilot’s feet. IMSA wouldn’t have that, so Porsche would need a longer car. The engineering department at Weissach had to basically re-engineer the 956’s chassis making it longer, and they also used the opportunity to equip the new car with a stronger engine. So they used the old Typ-935 2.8 l engine, but with a single turbo (IMSA didn’t allow twin-turbo systems). All that done, in 1984 the first 962 was born.

962C #17
No denying that the Rothmans livery is a classic one, specially for Porsches.

In total, Porsche produced 91 units of the 962 between 1984 and 1991. Of these, 16 were official works team cars, while 75 went to privateers. The car did very well in the IMSA championship, winning the GTP class trophy in 1985, 1986 and 1987. In 1986 the car was modified for  the World Sportscar Championship, receiving 2.8 l, 3.0 l and 3.2 l twin-turbocharged engines. These twin-turbocharged cars were called 962C. Jouest Racing raced Porsche cars since its founding back in 1978. And it was one of the teams that was heavily involved with the 962. For the 24 Heures du Mans of 1990 the team had three cars in the race. They were 962C #6, #7 and #9, all using the 2994 cm³ twin-turbocharged engines.

962C #17
Happiness is just a few decals away.

The first year of the 962 C at La Sarthe was 1985. At the time Porsche had a partnership with Rothmans, and the works team fielded three cars. The new 962 did not disappoint, and Rothmans managed a third place with car #2 (the winner was a 956B). The following year the result was even better: first place. For the 24 Heures du Mans of 1987 the Rothmans team brought again three cars to the field. Car #19 crashed in practice and #18 DNF. But 962C #17, piloted by Hans-Joachim Stuck Jr, Derek Bell and Al Holbert, finished in first place. That year was Derek Bell’s last win at La Sarthe.

962C #17
A shot like this makes me angry at HPI.

Without a doubt the Rothmans livery is one of the most iconic ones ever to grace a Porsche. Fortunately Spark produces the model but it doesn’t come with the complete paint scheme. However, you get the missing livery in decal form. The decals are of very good quality, and after a three minutes job you have the model with the complete livery. No need to hunt decals on the web contrarily to certain brands. So the 962C #17 here is proof that Spark is THE best 1:43 manufacturer out there.

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