1990 Porsche 962C
Pilots: H. Pescarolo, J. Lafhte, J-L. Ricci
Team: Jouest Porsche Racing
Race: 14th GC (14th in C1 class) at Le Mans in 1990
Spark - S1944 (resin)
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, and 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, using 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.
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.
Car #6 (chassis #962-144) finished last of the three, only in 14th place (against a 4th and a 8th place). But IMHO it’s the best looking of the bunch. I was after a 962 for a looooong time, so I couldn’t say no to this one, specially from Spark. What caught my eye on this one was the livery, that IMO looks gorgeous. Not the most successful of the 962, but definitively one of the best looking ones.