The Porsche 962
The #14 Lowenbrau 962, too many wins to list!
I know I said the Porsche 917 was the baddest-ass racer of all time, but the 962 may just have to claim that title. In 1982, the FIA created a new racing category--Group C--at the same time IMSA's Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) series debuted in North America. This joint creation evoked memories of the big-engine LeMans cars and unlimited-engine Can-Am cars (the 917, heh,heh,heh) that ran back in the good 'ole '70's. Enter the 956 and 962. The 956 was designed for Group C, and the 962 for IMSA GTP. The 962 looked much like the 956, except its wheelbase was 100mm longer toward the front.
Al Holbert racing proved to be right-on when it came to development and racing of the 962. Initially the 962 carried a 2.8L air-cooled 934 powerplant, with single turbocharger and ignition. It won a race using that engine in 1984, but the design team was already finishing up a 3.2L for installation. In 1985, the 962 with the new engine walked away with the GT Championship. It won it again in 1986, earning Holbert his 5th IMSA driving title. Also during 1986, the 956 racers had given way to the 962Cs, and Derek Bell took his 2nd endurance-driver's title.
The rest is history: From 1982-1987, the 956 and 962C won LeMans 7 straight times. The 962 earned a truly awe-inspiring 180+ races up through 1993. During this stint, one of the most impressive wins was at the 1991 IMSA GT 24 Hours of Daytona, where the 962C blistered the competition, earning Porsche 18th win out of the 23 years of the event! All this on a car that had been designed 10 years ago. In doing so, the victory was the 286th win for Porsche in the IMSA GT series. There is NO other manufacturer that can claim HALF as many victories!
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