The Porsche 962 is a sport-prototype racing car created to replace the already successful Porsche 956, in order to allow it to race the IMSA and WSC Group C competitions. It was one of the most successful racing cars ever and it won several competitions all over the world:
– World Sport-Prototype Championship in 1985 and 1986
– 24h Le Mans in 1986, 1987 and 1994
– IMSA GTP Championship in 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988
– 24h Daytona in 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989 and 1991
– 12h Sebring in 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988
The IMSA ‘GTP’ regulations required some modifications in comparison with Porsches designed for the Group C. Front axle was shifted 12 centimetres ahead, so that driver’s feet could stay behind the hubs of the wheels. The boxer 6 cylinders engine had a displacement of 3.2 litres, was air-cooled, with only one turbo, 2 valves per cylinder and one single overhead camshaft. The 12 Hours of Sebring in 1988, was won by this Porsche driven by A.J.Foyt and H. Haywood.
1983 - Le Mans Winner / #3 - V. Schuppan, H. Haywood, A. Holbert
The 956 model was created by Porsche in 1982 to compete in the new Group C category. It was replaced in 1985 by the similar 962 model. It was one of the most successful racing cars ever: it won four 24h Le Mans competitions consecutively, in 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, and the World Car Manufacturer title three times. The car was powered by a 2.650 cc engine. Its monocoque aluminium chassis was new for Porsche, previously known for their space frame design. Through this change, the regulated minimum weight of 800 Kg was reached.
The victory of the Porsche n.3 of Holbert, Haywood and Schuppan on the n.2 of Ickx and Bell came mainly thanks to the American driver: the loss of a door had damaged the radiator and caused an engine bank to overheat, but Al Holbert, a mechanical engineer, managed to complete the race, despite the smoking engine that seized immediately after the finish line, that he crossed only 17″ ahead of Derek Bell … who in the meantime had run out of fuel. Notice how this edition was dominated by the Porsche 956 with 8 cars in the first 8 positions.