Dauer 962 GT LM #36 – Spark

1994 Dauer 962 GT LM #36 
Pilots: Y. Dalmas, H. Haywood, M. Baldi 
Team: Le Mans Porsche Team 
Race: 1st overall (GT1 class) at Le Mans in 1994 
Spark - 43LM94 (resin) 

Published 09/07/18

Former racing driver Jochen Dauer founded Jochen Dauer Racing in 1987. They initially competed in European championships and occasional World Sports-Prototype Championship races, using the Porsche 962. With the end of sports prototype racing in the early 1990s, the team became Dauer Racing GmbH. The idea was to begin a limited production of road cars, including a road-legal version of the 962. The Dauer 962 Le Mans was revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1993 (4’14” video).  Dauer made an outstanding car, since basically it was a street-legal race car. The model was a total success, and Porsche took notice.

Dauer 962
The Dauer 962 could go over 400 km/h!

With the end of Group C, the general interest in prototype racing was consequently in free fall. And that worried the Automobile Club de l’Ouest. So in 1993 ACO allowed the re-introduction of production-based grand tourer-style cars. However, the rules did not specify a minimum number of road-going examples for homologation. Clever Porsche didn’t miss the loophole created, and right after the Frankfurt Motor Show, approached Dauer. The idea was for Dauer to develop a racing version of their road car while Porsche would provide full factory support.

Dauer 962
To be race-legal the engine received air ristrictors.

This racing version was called the Dauer 962 GT LM. Dauer used nearly the same engine as the racing 962, Porsche’s Type-935. It was a water-cooled 2994 cm³ flat-6 with two KKK turbochargers, rated at about 600 hp. The chassis was also the same one from the original 962, but the body was completely new. To make things lighter, a carbon fiber & Kevlar body was used. Basically, to make the car legal for Le Mans, only three modifications to the road car were necessary. It received narrower tires, a 120 l fuel tank and air restrictors to the engine (though without them the engine produced 730 hp!).

Is that a Porsche? Maybe not, yet Stuttgart counts the win as theirs…

Dauer built three cars, and Porsche had all three in their works team. Although only two raced while the third was the reserve car. Chassis #GT003 became car #36, and piloted by Yannick Dalmas, Hurley Haywood and Mauro Baldi, it brought Porsche’s 13th victory at La Sarthe*. Afterwards ACO wised up and closed the loophole by stipulating a minimum number of cars built for homologation. With that, the 24 Heures du Mans of 1994 was the only race that the car ever competed in. So the Dauer 962 was born a race car, became a street-legal road car and became a race car again 🤨. Such a convoluted history for such a nice car… In 1:43 form things are simpler: it’s an average Spark. In other words, it’s a GREAT model.

*: Depending on your viewpoint, that’s debatable. Though the car was born a 962 (Porsche), it was Dauer who made it into the 962 GT LM. That’s the car that won the race, Porsche only gave factory support. The widespread view is that it’s a Porsche model. However, technically speaking, I think you could argue if it really was a “Porsche” victory.

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