www.QV500.com - Dauer 962 LM Part 2: 962 LM Sport
 
In 1991, Jochen Dauer bought five unused 962 chassis's from Porsche. Numbered 169, 172, 173, 175 and 176, they would serve as the basis for his firms road-going 962 project. Thanks to their excellent relationship, Porsche were helpful in sourcing parts and even gave Dauer some technical advice. However, after the 962 LM made its debut at Frankfurt in September 1993, they became even more enthusiastic. Indeed, Porsche's senior engineer, Norbert Singer, approached Dauer that December to discuss a Le Mans entry after spotting a loophole in the rules.
   

All Porsche had at the time was the production-based 964 Turbo S LM and with faltering road car sales, they felt an outright win would be hugely beneficial. Their most recent had come in 1987 when Holbert, Bell and Stuck scored the factory’s last official 962 triumph. Since then, Jaguar and Mercedes had dominated. At that time the GT1 rules allowed up to 600bhp (100bhp more than the Group C class) and also permitted 50% bigger fuel tanks. They stipulated that just a single road-going version of a car had to be manufactured, a loophole that meant a Group C racer could be converted into and then homologated as a road car (just as the 962 LM had been) and then converted back into a racer. Porsche wanted to collaborate with Dauer and manufacture a racing version of the 962 LM, it would be entered at Le Mans by Dauer but crewed and controlled by the factory. Work began and although the Le Mans governing body (the ACO) later tried to exclude it, the dye was already cast. However, in January 1994 the ACO did manage to introduce a flat-bottom rule whereby every cars underside had to be flat in all the central parts between the wheels. This caused a few headaches and forced Dauer to homologate a new high downforce version of the road car. In spring 1994, the 962 LM Sport was born and featured a flat underbody between the axles and revised front and rear underbody sections.

 
The nose was longer and more angular, the tail becoming deeper whilst new brakes were also fitted. Three cars were originally built, chassis 169 (a yellow street version) having been re-numbered 001. 173 and 176 were renumbered 002 and 003 respectively and these would be the two racers. Despite protests from other teams, the 962 LM Sport was legal and during the official Le Mans warm up (pictured above), only two cars went faster. For the 24 Hour race, Dauer arrived with all three cars, the yellow street version being on hand all weekend along with 002 and 003.
   
Sponsored by Shell, 002 was to be driven by Hans Stuck, Danny Sullivan and Thierry Boutsen whilst the less-fancied 003 was backed by FAT International. It would be driven by Yannick Dalmas, Hurley Haywood and Mauro Baldi. The main competition would come from the Group C class as Dauer's cars were 15-seconds a lap quicker than their nearest GT1 rivals. Pre-race favourites were the Kremer-Porsche K8 Spyder's, the Courage-Porsche C32 LM's and Toyota's lavishly funded Sard & Nisso teams with their 94CV's. Qualifying went well, the Shell-backed 002 starting fifth and 003 seventh. During the race though, both cars began circulating much quicker than their qualifying times and this initially put them firmly in control. However, a series of incidents on Saturday evening and early Sunday morning meant the Toyota teams fought out the lead during the night. After the Nisso 94CV dropped back, the Sard Toyota looked set for victory following a spirited stint at the wheel by Eddie Irvine. Le Mans wouldn't be Le Mans without some late drama though and the Japanese team had their first win cruelly snatched away by a broken gear linkage in the last hour. The 962's inherited first and second and although Irvine eventually recovered to place second, Boutsen had recorded fastest lap. It was a fitting last hurrah for one of the greatest designs in the history of sports car racing.
 
Date Event Drivers Entrant
Chassis
#
Qual
Pos.
Class
08/05/94 Le Mans Trials Hans Stuck
Mauro Baldi
Thierry Boutsen
Dauer (Porsche)
GT 002 (173)
35
3rd
-
-
19-20/06/94 Le Mans 24 Hours Yannick Dalmas
Hurley Haywood
Mauro Baldi
Dauer (Porsche)
GT 003 (176)
36
7th
1st
1st
Hans Stuck
Danny Sullivan
Thierry Boutsen
Dauer (Porsche)
GT 002 (173)
35
5th
3rd
2nd
 

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