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Onboard a Porsche LMP1-98 WSC-95 at Goodwood

Submitted by on August 18, 2015

Porsche LMP1-98

Hop into a Porsche LMP1-98 WSC-95 with evo’s Dickie Meaden at the Goodwood Festival of Speed to learn about its history, do a 27-point turn and charge up the hill.

The WSC-95 is a modified Porsche design derived from the Group C Jaguar XJR-14. In 1995 Porsche approved a project to develop a prototype for IMSA World Sportscar racing. While they would not be backing it themselves, they would be approving it, as well as lending their expertise and thoroughly race-tested Type-935 turbo flat-six. Tom Walkinshaw Racing would be in charge of building the car, based on the XJR-14.

When IMSA WSC regulations changed going into the 1995 season, Porsche cancelled the project. Reinhold Joest, however, liked the idea, and convinced Porsche to pick it up again and give the prototype to his team for the ’96 24 Hours of Le Mans. Joest Racing also put up the cash to build a second car and make modifications to the existing car to meet LMP1 regulations.

Come race day the cars were quick, with WSC-95 #002 setting pole, and WSC-95 #001 going on to win the race ahead of Porsche’s own factory 911 GT1 cars.

Following that success Joest Racing decided to run again in 1997. Good decision – they went from pole position to race win, with a young Tom Kristensen picking up the first of his nine 24 Hours of Le Mans victories.

For 1998 Porsche took over the WSC-95 project, developing both that car for LMP1 and the 911 GT1 in the GT1 class. Both of the WSC-95s received significant development to their bodywork and aero, as well as an upgraded 3.2-litre Type-935 flat-6. This is when the cars’ name changed to the Porsche LMP1-98.

Sadly the LMP1-98 did not complete a hat trick for the racer, but Porsche did take the overall win – a feat they would not repeat until 2015 – with their 911 GT1-98s securing both first and second.

The first few minutes of this video offer a lovely view of the LMP1’s office and a particularly good bit in which a Smart Engineer Man flips many levers and pushes a collection of buttons for the car’s start up procedure. Dickie Meaden waxes lyrical about the car’s history and what it’s like to be behind the wheel at the event before the camera gives us a better view of the track and we take off up the hill. Great stuff!

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