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Motor Werks Racing : Porsche 924 Heritage Tribute Edition…

Chez Motor Werks Racing, on aime la Porsche 924 GTP. A tel point, que le préparateur de Cumming, une bourgade située en Géorgie au nord d’Atlanta, s’en est fait une spécialité… Recréer des 924 GTP de course, qui reprennent les livrées d’époque et reçoivent sous leur capot, un 1.8l turbo sous hormones… Le paradis des […]


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Porsche 924 GTR… Une vraie Porsche !

En 1975 Porsche lançait la 911 Turbo et présentait la 924 ! Un grand écart commercial… Parce qu’à l’époque, Porsche cherchait absolument à se sortir de cette impasse où les clients ne voyaient que par la 911. Après un retentissant échec avec la 914, Porsche allait quand même retenter le drop en essayant, ce coup-ci, […]


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An Indycar Driver’s Take on the Porsche 962

Dobson racing the IMSA-spec Bayside 962 in 1990.

Though Dominic Dobson spent the majority of his professional career driving Indycars, he was one of the few Americans to race a Porsche 962 at Le Mans, through the narrow hairpins of San Antonio, and around the outrageous kinks at Road America.

It was a car that reveled in high-speed situations, and its incredible cornering forces could impress the steeliest of drivers. When Dobson first drove the Takefuji 962 at Le Mans 1989, the team told him he could take the Mulsanne kink completely flat. It wasn’t his first time out in the 962, but his first foray in Europe. Considering the speeds, Dobson was taken aback by the way the team casually relayed this tidbit. Then, to soothe his nerves, it started to drizzle on his sighting lap.

Made wary by the thin layer of fog settling over the track, Dobson lifted when approaching the kink the first time around. After getting acquainted with the track and the grip available, he found he could take the kink « easily flat » on the next lap. That long wheelbase was great for stability, and so, the 962 was fairly relaxed above 200 mph. That reassurance, combined with 750 horsepower, encouraged him to nudge 240 mph at the end of the Mulsanne, where the dashed line in the middle of the road appears solid due to the harrowing speeds.

The Takefuji 962 Dobson would share with Will Hoy and Jean Alesi at Le Mans ’89.

Running at those rates requires a very disciplined approach, even with the aerodynamic stability the 962 offered. Above 200 miles an hour, the Mulsanne—a public road most of the year—would shuffle cars over its prominent crown. To avoid getting thrown by the surface undulations, Dobson had to pick a lane, stick to it, and avoid crossing over the full width of the Mulsanne when he could. As the 962 was one of the quickest cars there, Dobson often found himself overtaking on the inside and picking his spots to pass carefully. « You definitely didn’t want to run three-abreast, » warns Dobson with a stoic chuckle.

If those rules were respected, the 962 was almost comforting—for a car dependent on aero grip, and thus very stiff, it was supple at those outrageous speeds. Coming from the somewhat crude Indycars of that time, Dobson found the 962 refined and accommodating—« it rode like a road car, and was well-upholstered with leather everywhere. » You started the car on a key, the turbocharged engine wouldn’t make your ears bleed, and « the visibility was pretty good, although it had a few blind spots, and you couldn’t see behind at all. »

If the 962 was known for one thing, it was its reliability; much of the success could be attributed its resilience. It was kind to tires, the brakes were robust, and it was « a workhorse » which could handle most of what was thrown at it. While Dobson didn’t remember any distinctly weak links, he was instructed to avoid using first gear in the hairpins to save the gearbox. Plus, with way the turbos delivered their power, it could effortlessly roast the rears at slower speeds.

Dobson at Le Mans ’89 before his fiery retirement.

In fact, getting a good lap time out of the car revolved around minimizing wheelspin and harnessing the power delivery. As Dobson recalls: « the real skill was in managing the turbo lag. » You had to stop the car, get it turned, and try to « get on the throttle before the apex to start building the boost. »

Trying to use the torque to rotate the car mid-corner wasn’t easily repeatable due to the lag and the violent power delivery—especially with the IMSA-spec motors which ran a single, watermelon-sized turbocharger. However, if the car was reasonably straight at the apex, it put the power down well. Therefore, the 962 was a point-and-squirt machine, and the drivers who could get the blown motor on-song earliest and with the least wheelspin were usually those who went quickest at the end of the day.


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Video: 1982 Fabcar Porsche 935 JLP-4 – The Wildest 935 Ever?

Back in the early 1980s, the GTP-style prototypes were still in their infancy, and the JLP Racing team – John Pauls, Sr. & Jr. – wanted to build a new version of Porsche’s 935 that could « win any race it entered » with no expense spared. Hiring the workshops and aerodynamics masters at Fabcar to build their new machine, the JLP-4 was the result. Developed concurrently with Porsche’s 956 factory prototype program, the 935 shared many of the same philosophies. Fabcar’s Dave Klym set his head engineer, Lee Dykstra, to the project, and this full aluminum monocoque Porsche (plus tube-construction rear engine housing) is the result. With advanced ground effects aero and a huge 3.2-liter turbocharged flat-six mounted as far forward as a « rear engine » can be mounted, this is essentially a GTP car masquerading as a Group 5 car, and we love everything about it.

Allegedly, this Porsche’s 3200cc engine is capable of around 840 horsepower at around 20.5 psi of boost, giving this aero monster big power as well. At the time, GTP cars had much less power from smaller displacement engines, giving this 935 a strange loophole to work with, and giving it the ability to win races outright, rather than battle for class titles. The fact that this massive powerhouse only has to move about 2200 pounds makes it all the more impressive.

You’ll notice that this Porsche features a very prototype-esque slab-sided center section. This was to allow for sliding skirts that sealed the Porsche’s aero underneath the car, rather than spilling out the sides, making the huge rear diffuser more effective. The car also was reported to have switchable diffuser stalling flaps to increase top speeds on the straights. Far and away, this is the most sophisticated and aerodynamically advanced Porsche 911-based racing car of its time. Even the four-speed transmission was mounted upside-down in the chassis for a lower ride height and a better aero profile.

This Porsche was recently hauled out by its owner for a track day at Monza, and there happened to be a pair of YouTube chaps (namely 19Bozzy92 and NM2255 Car HD Videos) there to capture the footage for all of us to enjoy. Both of these videos are quite short, at under five minutes, and admittedly they both have some overlapping footage, but it’s worth watching both to see a few different angles of this monster of a Porsche-powered whatsit absolutely own the track. From the full-throttle flybys to the fire spitting overrun downshifts, we would be perfectly happy to watch this car blast the track for at least an hour or two. What a cool car, and what a cool experience to see it race on track.

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Onboard en Porsche 962… Bienvenue en enfer !

Mais il a pas fini de nous les briser avec ses 80’s et 90’s, ses Gr B, C, D… et tout l’alphabet même si il veut ?! Et encore, quand c’est pas des touring cars… Non mais franchement, on n’est pas venu ici pour souffrir okayyyy ?! Haaaaa, ça va mieux ! Allez, on peut […]

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