1996 Porsche TWR WSC-95 Pilots: D. Jones, A. Wurz, M. Reuter Team: Joest Porsche Racing Race: 1st overall (LMP1 class) at Le Mans in 1996 Spark - MAP02029613 (resin)
In 1995, Porsche started to develop a prototype for the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) series under the World Sports Car (WSC) regulations. To do so, they established partnership with Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR). By their agreement, Porsche would provide the engine and help in the development and TWR would provide the chassis. For the project, TWR used an old Jaguar XJR-14 Group C car chassis (chassis #791). Porsche provided the venerable Typ 935/76, a twin turbocharged flat-6 with 2994 cm³. Unfortunately though, the IMSA WSC regulations changed prior to the 1995 season, so Porsche axed the project.
Fast forward to 1996. That year, the 24 Heures du Mans was a stand-alone race, it wasn’t part of any championship. That being so, if it was any other event it would not be important. But it was Le Mans, the most prestigious race of all. Knowing that and also about the WSC project, Reinhold Joest approached Porsche and asked if he could use the WSC-95. Since Joest was a big and traditional Porsche client and with not much to loose, Stuttgart said yes. They also got TWR to build a second prototype and made a few modifications to make it legal for LMP1. And also to comply with LMP1 rules, the engine’s output came down to 530 hp.
So Jouest had two WSC-95 in the race, cars #7 and #8. The WSC-95 #8 started on pole position, while WSC-95 #7 came behind, in seventh. However WSC-95 #7 jumped to first quite early and stayed there all the way to the checkered flag. That was Porsche’s 13th victory at La Sarthe, and the third for Joest Racing (always with Porsche).
I already had the 1997 WSC-95 #7, and it was only a matter of time before I got the 1996 version. And here it is, but this time from Spark. And from the pic above it looks like I’ll have to upgrade the 1997 car… BUT, it’s not all roses at the Spark camp. They reversed the rims front to rear on both their cars (96 and 97). They put the deeper rims on the front wheels instead of on the back. Therefore, a nice model yet unfortunately not one of Spark’s best.