Homologation Special car is a term that has resurfaced in recent years with both endurance and rally racing looking to take on a more road-related ethos. However, this is a far cry from the first era when cars on a racetrack saw siblings on the road. But the rare thing is when a racing car becomes a road-going model that is sold to the public.
Thanks to a lot of help from Porsche, this is exactly what Jochen Dauer did in 1994 with the 962 Group C racer to create the Dauer 962 Le Mans. Not only is Le Mans street legal, the car that inspires it is one of the most successful models ever to grace the tarmac at La Sarthe, dominating many versions of the world’s greatest endurance races during the 1980s and 1990s. .
In fact, the Porsche 962 is such a great racing icon that several other companies have also taken it upon themselves to make road-legal versions with varying success. A total of 13 examples of this eccentric, right now classic The car made its way out of the factory as well as a pair of racing variants that added another link to the race car to the road and back to the racing series.
What is Dauer 962?
The 962 name originated with Porsche when the German manufacturer modernized its Group C competitor in 1984. Early in its life, the Porsche 962 became one of the brand’s most dominant cars and won four Le Mans 24 Hours In a row, he won 21 championship titles across several series.
It was this success that prompted Yushin Dauer to produce a version of the car for the road, a model that would be called the Dauer 962.
Although it is a cheaper combination of carbon fiber and Kevlar than the racing model, it provides a really impressive sight on the road. Several modifications to the lights and mirrors ensure that the car is more pedestrian friendly, while the front end loses its sharp corners for the same reason. Although in general it is a design very similar to the original Porsche 962.
Underneath that C-group chassis is the same six-liter twin-turbo engine that powers the racing model. However, since the road car never had to follow Group C class regulations, the air restrictor disappeared, freeing up the engine enabling it to produce more power. In total, 720 horsepower will be shipped from the engine to the rear wheels through the same five-speed transmission as the race car.
In contrast to the outside, the Dauer 962 is somewhat unlike a Porsche on the inside. There is a pair of lush leather seats in the narrow cockpit. The steering wheel has a square bottom and also features plenty of leather while the dashboard has a radio, several instruments and 962 lettering covering the floor mats. Later models featured a DVD player and screen to entertain their passengers on long road trips.
The Porsche Dur 962 may be the biggest loophole in motorsport history
With 1993 marking the end of the Group C era, the world of sports car racing has fallen on its head. ACO, organizers of the Le Mans 24 Hours race, decided they wanted to give the GT classes a better chance of winning the race outright and so, the prototypes were severely constrained.
With so many smart people working for the company, Porsche has started reading the new GT1 class rulebook before that 1994 edition Which stipulated, among other things, that manufacturers must sell at least one copy of the car on the road. With that in mind, Porsche thought it best not to build a racing version of a road car as ACO wanted it to, but to adapt an old road prototype and create their own racing car from that.
Lucky enough, Dauer had already collected its road legal 962 which gave Porsche the perfect base to build its new racer. Making the most of the larger fuel tanks allowed in the GT1, the result was a Group C car that was adapted for GT racing.
Bringing in an experienced team, Joest, and world-renowned drivers like Yannick Dalmas and Thierry Boutsen, the Porsche Dauer 962LM pair of cars was ready to take on the likes of Toyota that continued in the prototype class.
Rotor 962, Le Mans winner
Qualifying in fifth and seventh with two cars, it doesn’t seem like a special result overall. Although the faster Prototype cars have larger fuel tanks allowing for fewer stops during the race, the race speed will definitely be different. Furthermore, Dauer cars overcame their opposition in the GT class which means that the class win is assured.
Come race day, it won’t be long before the #36 car jumps to the top, able to cut the first full hour without stopping for fuel. A long rivalry with a Toyota 94C-V driven by Eddie Irvine among others should keep things interesting, but Dower would eventually win both overall and claim a dominant victory in GT1. The brand’s second car came home in third overall making it a double podium for the final year of the Porsche 962 at Le Mans.
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