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Legends at the Porsche Museum: How A 10 Year Old Design Claimed Overall Victory At Le Mans 27 Years Ago

Submitted by on November 15, 2021

By Marcel Hundscheid/Speed-O-Graphica

During my visit to the Porsche Museum, I stumbled across the Dauer 962 Le Mans – a Group C car based on the Porsche 962. Let’s review its story.

As the World Sportscar Championship underwent rule changes back in 1992 the number of participating Porsche 962s steadily decreased. However, Porsche felt that their 962 could still compete for the overall victory at Le Mans, despite the fact that their cars were subjected to newer regulations which led to a decreased performance.

German Jochen Dauer created a road going Porsche 962 that was presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1993, producing this car under the Dauer Racing flag using slightly revised carbon fiber and Kevlar panels found on Porsche 962 bodies.

If we go back in history we come to the conclusion that Porsche’s last participation in Le Mans was in 1988. During the early ’90s Porsche only had the 911 Carrera RSR 3.8 available for competition in the GT-class. Dauer presented their 962 also at the Dubai Motor Show. From that time on Porsche’s chief designers were Norbert Singer and Jochen Dauer.

Singer and Dauer worked closely together, eventually creating the Dauer 962 Le Mans, a sports car based on the 962 Group C car. The racing version of the Dauer 962 used the water-cooled type 935 3.0 flat 6 equipped with a pair of Kühnle, Kopp & Kausch turbochargers generating around 720 hp that led to a top speed of nearly 405 km/h. Just two Dauer 962 Le Mans prototypes were built.

During qualifying for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1994, the Dauer Porsches could not compete with the fastest cars in the standings. They couldn’t keep up with even the fastest Group C cars and couldn’t get more than fifth and seventh on the grid. However, the difference in speed in the GT1 class in which the Dauer Porsches were entered was enormous.

In the 24 hour race, the Dauer Porsches fought their way steadily towards the top of the standings. The #36 Dauer 962 Le Mans of Yannick Dalmas, Hurley Haywood and Mauro Baldi would take the overall win. Only the #1 Toyota 94C-V of Eddie Irvine, Mauro Martini and Jeff Krosnoff prevented a double victory for Dauer. As a result, the #35 Dauer 962 Le Mans of Hans-Joachim Stuck, Danny Sullivan and Thierry Boutsen finished third, just a lap behind the winning car.

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