The theme of the August issue of RACER magazine is "Great Cars," and no such discussion would be complete without an exploration of the epic Porsche 956/962 of the 1980s. Here's an excerpt of Gary Watkins' commemoration of these classic sports cars from the issue:
Derek Bell shouldn't have been worried. After all, he'd just won the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Porsche, but he wasn't sure what he'd be letting himself in for when he was asked to sign up to drive its new-for-1982 contender. The words of Professor Helmuth Bott, the German manufacturer's R&D boss, in the summer of '81 weren't particularly reassuring.
“We want you to drive our new car,” Bott told Bell. “It will be a monocoque chassis, and we have never done one before. It will be a ground-effect car, and we have never done one of those before.”
Bott finished with a get-out clause: “But we have never been wrong before.”
His words couldn't have been more prophetic. The new car, radical by Porsche's standards, was the 956 Group C car which, along with its long-wheelbase replacement, the 962, would go on to become the most successful sports car racer of all time.
• Want to read and see more? We have a limited number of issues available so click here to subscribe now to ensure you get August's Great Cars issue!
To learn more about the Great Cars issue, click here.