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Advan/Coke-Liveried IMSA 962 Goes Up for Auction

Most sports prototypes last only a few years before they become obsolete, but the 962 enjoyed a successful run for over a decade. With a combination of unprecedented reliability and drivability, the 962 became dominant in the mid-1980s. Rather than rest on their laurels and grow conceited with their winning streak, Porsche remained honest enough to develop the 962 as technology advanced. To keep up with rapid progression of its rivals and their technology, the 962 received a slew of updates throughout its long and storied career.

It’s not often that a 962 comes up for sale, and if you were looking for one, this might be your chance.

This particular car utilized a mid-career update known as the Chapman chassis. The earlier cars utilized a monocoque tub that was made from riveted and bonded aluminum, but not this 962-C04. Jim Chapman, a former Lola engineer, designed this updated chassis which incorporates honeycomb aluminum panels and billet-aluminum bulkheads to make this car stiffer and better at deploying the power from the IMSA-spec turbo.

Over that stiffer chassis, the carbon-kevlar panels are covered in that iconic red and black Yokohama livery. Gold 18″ BBS wheels dot each corner, and a massive NACA duct behind the cockpit feeds the massive KKK K36 turbocharger. With this shape and color combination, it’s one of the best looking cars to ever grace the races of IMSA GTP.

Unfortunately, 962-C04 only contested three races throughout the 1987 season. Hurley Haywood, James Weaver, and Vern Schuppan successfully battled with this car at Road America, Columbus, and Del Mar; its highest finish being fifth at Road America. After retiring from professional racing, it’s been driven at historic events such as Rennsport, the Classic 24 Hour at Daytona, and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

A short racing career and a pampered life make it a great investment. Bob Akin, the original owner, held on to the car until 1991, when it was sold to a Michigan doctor. After that, a restoration was performed under subsequent ownership by Sean Creech Motorsports, who were again commissioned in 2014 to perform a mechanical overhaul following the current owner’s purchase in 2012. The turbocharged 3.2L flat-six was rebuilt in 2015 by Klaus Fischer of Amalfi Racing. It’s also been fitted with new gearing to suit Sebring, Laguna Seca, and Daytona. Long gears and nearly 600 horsepower should make it new owner a very happy person.

Now, the car is currently being auctioned by Fantasy Junction at a current bid of $670,000. For more pictures and information on one of the most gorgeous racing cars in existence, check out the full listing on Bring a Trailer—you won’t be wasting your time.

Photo credit: Ben Hsu, Conceptcarz.com, The Marshall Pruett Archives, Dennis Gray for Sports Car Digest, Motorsport.com, Micheal DiPleco for Sports Car Digest, UltimateCarPage.com, and Bring a Trailer.


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André Lotterer Joins the Porsche Formula E Team

Bringing more big-name appeal to the Formula E program, André Lotterer joins Neel Jani for Porsche’s maiden season in the growing category which starts later this year. His experience in Formula 1 and WEC prepared him well for the technical understanding and multitasking needed to excel in this highly complicated format. To turn quick laps while adjusting all manner of electric motor parameters is what’s required of a Formula E driver, and now he has a car to match his talent.

Lotterer is one of those versatile divers who manages to perform in whichever category they choose. A childhood of karting followed by an adolescence spent in formula cars earned him a role as an F1 test driver in 2002. He then left Europe to compete on Japanese soil in Super GT and Formula Nippon (now Super Formula), where he was immensely successful, then returned to race with Porsche in its WEC program in 2009. Since then, he’s won Le Mans thrice, Super GT twice, Formula Nippon twice, and a WEC title. That level of success in so many top-tier teams, as well as the ability to speak five languages, makes him a strong fit into any category.

Breaking into Formula E

He set his sights on a full season in Formula E in 2017. Techeetah gave him his first stab at the series that year, he achieved two podiums and placed eighth overall. He repeated the same performance for the 2018 season with DS Techeetah, and for the 2019 season, he’s moved into Porsche’s Formula E team.

With nearly two decades of professional racing experience, much of which he spent with Porsche, Lotterer will not have much difficulty adjusting to his new environment. With his ability to drive anything quickly, plenty of experience with complex cars, a bigger budget to play with, and four podiums in Formula E, his future in this series is bright.


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An Australian Racing Ace Reunites with a Special Porsche 962

Though not well known to American racing fans, Tomas Mezera is a celebrated name in Australian motorsports who’s raced most major styles of car over his long and storied career. After starting in Formula Fords, he quickly moved into touring cars, V8 Supercars, and even took a stab at sportscars/prototypes. Perhaps the two greatest accolades in his career were victory at the 1988 Bathurst 1000 and a shot at Le Mans 1990 in a Porsche 962C.

Now the chief driving instructor at the Porsche Sport Driving School on the Gold Coast, Mezera gets invited to plenty of high-profile Porsche events. At one of these events, some 21 years after driving the 962 at Le Mans, one kind soul at Porsche lent Mezera the production car-style key to one of the model’s most famous examples.

The Le Mans winner from 1987, this Rothmans-liveried 962 is one of the most iconic racing cars ever. It’s also a great memory jogger. Listen as Mezera—constantly grinning—regales us with stories from racing the 962; a car which left him « absolutely knackered » and bruised. Such was the speed of this car that, after moving from this monster to a V8-powered Holden Commodore, he felt as if he was driving in « slow motion. »

Considering the vast array of cars he’s tested, that’s high praise. Perhaps more than any other feature of the 962, it’s the power which stands out most to Mezera. The relentless, unrivaled acceleration of the 962 is something that leaves even the most seasoned veteran struggling for words. « I remember the car never stops accelerating, » he recounts with his heavy Czech-Australian accent—but his eyes, smile, and mannerisms say much more than that.

It’s a good video. Give it a watch.

It’s obvious the 962 leaves an indelible mark on those who experience its magic.


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Witness One of the Rarest Porsche Racers Grazing Goodwood’s Haybails

It’s a bit strange to think that twenty-five years ago, Porsche planned to take the 959 into international sports car racing. Especially for its time, the tech-heavy 959 was so sophisticated that running one in an endurance race must’ve made the engineers weep and kiss their family lives goodbye. However, it was indeed built to fit into the Group B series of the day.

Porsche initially planned to build these 959-based cars for customer racing teams running to FISA Group B circuit racing regulations. By the time the car reached fruition, however, FISA had shifted Group B to suit rally racing instead, and the circuit Group B customer program was dead in the water. However, development continued on their lone chassis No. 10016. They had to put all that effort and research to good use.

The 961, as it came to be known, did not live an unfulfilled life. Two somewhat successful attempts at Le Mans and one showing at Daytona verified its potential. Not only was it faster than the contemporary BMW M1s at Le Mans, but it was faster than some of the C1 and C2 prototypes, and finished seventh in 1986. Despite its complexity, it was one of the more reliable cars in the field that year.

With 4WD, 680 horsepower, and only 2.25 tons to push around, the 961 inhales straightaways.

Power came from a 935 engine, and its 650 horsepower was put to the ground via a modified version of the 959’s drivetrain which favored the rear axle more than the road version did. It also sported a set of brakes from the 962, and benefited from considerable weight loss. In race trim, the 961 weighed only 2,535 pounds. Those states were enough for it to reach an astounding 207 miles an hour down the Mulsanne Straight.

Though Chris Harris’ enthusiasm is visible in the video above, it’s the celebratory cheers made by Roger Green in the footage below that gets the thrill of the 961 across. Though laggy, once the turbos spool around 4,500 rpm, the 961 simply pulls the horizon towards it.


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Barks of the 996 GT3 RSR Bounce Off Monza’s Trees

Though not the fastest car through Parabolica, the 996 RSR’s baritone bellow is very entertaining.

The signature bark of the 996 GT3 RSR is unmistakable to the sonically sensitive Porschephile. They recognize the dry blat-blat-blat of the 3.6-liter under deceleration and heel-toe and from years ago when they heard those same sounds bounce off the walls at places like Sebring and Daytona. The rasp, the throatiness, and the absence of gearbox noise help it stand out as a distinct piece of music in the Porsche anthology.

The varied soundtrack accompanies a motor that screams to a tick over 8,000 rpm, and made ~445 horsepower while up there. Just a hair under 300 lb-ft was the churning force this motor produces, and though that’s not an exceptional amount by today’s standards, it is plenty of shove to propel a car weighing ~2,400 pounds. With a six-speed sequential to row through, it reaches a much higher top speed than one would imagine after watching it accelerate seemingly casually out of Monza’s hairpins.

Great stability on the brakes is one of this car’s obvious strong suits.

Fortunately, these two RSRs brake very well and exhibit great stability while decelerating. The 380mm and 355mm discs front and rear, respectively, bring the Porsche to a halt without much fidgeting. To run at somewhere like Le Mans for 24 hours, the car had to be reasonably stable. The big wing and diffuser help, but by modern standards, the 996 RSR’s areo doesn’t look like that a factory racer.

Still, after Looking at the body movement and the comparatively simplistic bodywork you get a sense of how far GT cars have come in the last fifteen years Body control, downforce, and braking performance are simply different level. Now, GT3 cars are built more like prototypes with an emphasis on aero grip, while back then, cars had to be managed more at lower speeds and slid in a subtle fashion. The steady forward march of progress, right?


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