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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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Onboard the 991 GT2 RS as it Sets a Production Car Record at Bend Motorsports Park

Though the potential of the latest force-fed RS has never been in question, its newest record only solidifies its reputation as the ultimate track weapon. Perhaps more so than any of its contemporaries, the robust GT2 RS is one of the few cars which actually deserves the overused and often misappropriated accolade: « racing car for the road. »

Luff putting in a lap full of sideways moments.

In addition to its record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, the GT2 RS now holds the record at Australia’s Bend Motorsports Park: a new, 4.8-mile circuit roughly with 35 corners. With over AUD$100M invested into the facility at this point, the high-speed circuit has the variety to test the GT2 RS completely, and the safety measures to push it regularly to and beyond the limit.

A miniature Nordschleife, the 35-corner course tests the consistency and precision of any driver, even the versatile and highly experienced Warren Luff. A a former runner-up in the Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia championship Cup, Luff was chosen by Porsche to attempt the record, which he accepted eagerly.

At the end of the day, Luff covered the tight, technical, and massively challenging course in 3:24.709. As seen from the onboard footage above, the wow-speed traction is remarkable for something with 700 horsepower powering only the rear wheels, and the high-speed stability is something most dedicated track cars could only hope to match. Getting to see him balance this Porsche at high speeds—nursing the front end and catching the regular twitches from the rear—is a delight for any avid track rat.

Only occasionally does the stable GT2 RS break sideways over the curbs, but a quick flick of opposite lock reins the 911 back in-line. While obviously a demanding car that requires constant steering corrections, sensitivity, and commitment, it’s capable in every department, and confidence-inspiring in talented hands.

It’s certainly been a highlight in my career – something that I’ll remember for a very long time. It was a privilege to do it in such a special car.”

At 4.8 miles long, Bend Motorsport Park is the second-longest permanent track in the world.

 
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