Dauer 962 Le Mans GT1 Le Mans Porsche Team #36 '94
• Manufacturer: Dauer
• Country: Germany
• Year: 1994
• Type: Race
• Division: Gr.2
• Engine: 3.0L Porsche Type 935 KKK twin-turbocharged Flat-6
• Power: 650 HP / 7400 rpm
• Torque: --- Nm
• Engine location: Mid, longitudinally mounted
• Displacement: 2994 cc
• Fuel feed: Bosch Fuel Injection
• Aspiration: 2 KKK Turbos
• 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) Time: Not specified
• Top Speed: Not specified
• Power-to-weight ratio: 0.64 hp/kg
• Drive: Rear wheel drive
• Gearbox: 5 Speed Manual
• Lenght: ---
• Width: ---
• Height: ---
• Weight: 1015 kg
• Fuel tank: 120 Litre
As a driver and entrant, Jochen Dauer had been a very successful Porsche 962C proponent. As the legendary Group C car's career draw to a close, Dauer recognised its potential as the basis for a very high performance road car. In 1991, he acquired five unused 962C chassis from Porsche and started the development of what would become the Dauer 962 LM. Using Porsche chassis 962-169, the first road car was unveiled at the 1993 IAA in Frankfurt.
During the development process, Porsche provided backdoor support in the form of parts and expertise. At the launch in Frankfurt, the project received closer inspection by Porsche motorsports engineer Norbert Singer. He discovered that the car could very well form the basis for a competition car as part of the new GT1 regulations. These required a road going version for homologation but a production run of one was sufficient. GT1 cars would be very much favoured over the existing Group C cars to encourage the development of new cars.
With Singer at the helm, Porsche ramped up the involvement in the project and set about converting the Dauer 962 LM back into a racing car. Considering the car's origins this was not a very complicated affair. Most of the work focused on the aerodynamics. Whereas the 962C had derived most of its downforce from the ground effect tunnels that ran on either side of the engine, the GT1 regulations stipulated that a flat bottom had to be used. This prompted a careful redesign of the bodywork but the car remained instantly recognisable as a 962.
Underneath the all-new Kevlar composite bodywork, the Dauer 962 LM Sport was still very similar to the 962C it was originally derived from. It featured an aluminium monocoque with a three-litre version of the venerable flat-six engine that was similar to the one fitted to the road car. As per the GT1 regulations, it was fitted with a pair of intake restrictors, which limited the performance to around 600 bhp. This was nevertheless more than the pegged back Group C cars, which is what had sparked Singer's interest in the first place, along with a lower minimum weight and larger fuel tank.
The new racer's sole objective was Le Mans and two were entered by a team manned by Porsche factory and Joest Racing personnel only. The pair of 962s were however entered as Dauers as the single road car had been homologated as such. Just a single 962 LM Sport was ready in time for the Le Mans Trials where Hans Stuck, Mauro Baldi and Thierry Boutsen set the third fastest time. For the race both cars were ready with the #35 manned by Yannick Dalmas, Hurley Haywood and Mauro Baldi and the #36 entered for Hans Stuck, Danny Sullivan and Thierry Boutsen.
Pitched against a mix of pegged back Group C cars and a new generation of open LMP prototypes, the two Dauers qualified 5th and 7th on the grid. During the race the two 962s found another gear and by Saturday evening, the two cars were firmly in control. Unfortunately both entries were delayed, which promoted the Toyota 94CV Group C car to the lead. The Japanese manufacturer's bad luck is famous and a broken gear linkage in the final hour saw the leading car drop out. This allowed the #36 back into the lead to claim victory with the sister car finishing third overall and second in class.
As a racer turned road car and then turned into a racer again, the Dauer 962 LM was not quite the GT1 car the sport's governing body had imagined. Accordingly, the loophole found by Norbert Singer was closed; from 1995 a minimum production run of 25 examples was required. The two competition versions of the Dauer were not raced again, making the the 1994 Le Mans victory a fitting finale to a long and successful career of the 962C and the virtually identical 956 that came before. Production of the road car continued through to 2002 at a rate of one or two per year and it is believed 13 examples were eventually built.
The second Dauer 962 LM Sport built, this car used the Porsche supplied chassis that had originally been stamped 962-176. It started the race seventh on the grid and after delays during the night entered the final hours in second overall. Toyota's famous bad luck helped as the leading 94CV was forced to retire with a broken gear linkage. This promoted GT003 to the lead and allowed it to score the 962's final major victory. Retained by Porsche, the Le Mans winner was displayed for many years in the Schlumpf Museum in Mulhouse.
More Awesome Cars