Porsche 962C-131 By Ascott Collection

In the noble line of the Porsche models whose particular contribution to the car consructor’s legend was made at the Le Mans 24 Hours race and in endurance racing in general, the 962 holds a place of its own. It enabled Porsche to win the 24 Hours of Daytona five times, the 12 Hours of Sebring four times, the Le Mans 24 Hours twice (with the 1994 win on top), together with wins at Dijon, Monza, Watkins Glen, and so on… It’s even quite difficult to find a circuit where a Porsche 956/962 actually failed to sparkle!

It all started in the mid-80s. The Porsche 956, the victor at Le Mans from 1982 to 1985, was not considered safe enough to race in the United States according to the then governing body, the IMSA. Porsche therefore decided to create an American version of the 956, the 962. It was produced from 1984. The wheelbase was extended by 12 cm to accommodate the pedal set behind the the front wheel axis. The Porsche 962 was the US-only version with a single turbo, while the 962C was the 956 twin-turbo version. The 966 / 962C, the 956’s so-called “big sister”, found its place in a large number of events: in the GTP category of the IMSA GT Championship, in the Japan Sport-Prototypes Championship, in the German Supercup Championship, in the European Interseries Championship, or in the famous Sports Cars World Championship.

It was for these latter three championships that the chassis 962C-131 was intended. With a racing career spanning three years from 1987 to 1989, this private 962C has the distinction of having always raced in the same team colours, those of the Swiss Team Salamin. Antoine Salamin,a Swiss architect and racing-driver bought this 962C with the aim of entering it for several championships in Europe. He took delivery of it on September 11, 1987, and raced the car for the first time a month later. It was quite logically that he opted for a 962 chassis, faithful as he had always been to the creations of the German constructor. Having been seen at the wheel of the Porsche Carrera 2.7 RS, the Porsche Carrera 3.0 RS, the Porsche 930 Turbo, the Porsche 934, the Porsche 935, and later the Porsche 997 GT3 RS, he entered the 962C-131 for over thirty races.

The 962C-131’s first race appearance occurred in mid-October 1987, at Zeltweg. For the second appearance on this track during the Interseries season, Antoine Salamin was on the starting grid. After qualifing in 6th place, the Swiss finished at the same position in the first leg, then 8th in the second leg. A little more than a month later, the car was entered for the 500 km of Kyalami, which was a non-championship race at that time. In the two races organized over this week-end in South Africa, Antoine Salamin twice finished 8th. An encouraging start, which was soon to be confirmed. The reliable chassis 131 started to race all over Europe, accumulating the finishing points.

In 1988 and 1989, the car’s racing schedule was shared between the Sports Cars World Championship and the Interseries and Supercup championships. Entries were irregular, but thanks to many problem-free races, with only three retirements occurring in over 30 starts, the 962C-131 obtained a number of distinctions. The Swiss Team Salamin finished seventh in the 1988 Sports Cars World Championship, fourth in the Interseries championship of the same year, and sixth in the 1989 Supercup championship. Twice, the team attempted to qualify for the Le Mans 24 Hours, but failed to secure a place on the grid during the practice sessions…

From 1987 to 1989, Antoine Salamin took the wheel for every single race! He was joined for some races by Giovanni Lavaggi, Jean-Denis Deletraz, the experienced Max Cohen-Olivar, or Hellmut Numdas. The 962C-131 went into retirement at the Mexico City race in 1989. During practice, it was damaged in a collision with Patrick Tambay. The Swiss team then turned to another 962C (chassis 157) for the 1990 and 1991 seasons. The 962C-131 was sold in Sweden in 1990, then returned to France, where it belonged to Pierre Landereau who kept it for about ten years before selling it to its current owner in 2010.

The latter undertook a complete overhaul of the car, starting with the chassis. A complete file of photos and invoices was compiled during the restoration work. In 2016, the car raced its first laps at the Le Mans Classic and the Dix Mille Tours of Le Castellet. It has thus only raced for 3 hours since completion of the overhaul. The crack test and the tank will be redone before the car is delivered to its next owner.

The 962C-131 is one of the most reliable of all the Group C Porsches, and is eligible for all the historic events reserved for Group C, including the Le Mans Classic. Learn more here

Racing History

  • 11/10/1987 – Zeltweg II – Interseries Championship – 6th / 8th
  • 28/11/1987 – 500 km of Kyalami – non-championship race  – 8th / 8th
  • 06/03/1988 – 800 km of Jerez – Sports Cars World Championship – 9th
  • 13/03/1988 – 360 km of Jarama – Sports Cars World Championship – 15th
  • 03/04/1988 – Hungaroring – Interseries Championship – 4th / 3rd
  • 10/04/1988 – Monza – Sports Cars World Championship – 9th
  • 24/04/1988 – Hockenheim – Interseries Championship – 5th / 7th
  • 08/05/1988 – Silverstone – Sports Cars World Championship – 7th
  • 29/05/1988 – Hockenheim – Supercup Championship – 9th
  • 12/06/1988 – Le Mans 24 Hours – Sports Cars World Championship – NQ
  • 26/06/1988 – Norisring – Supercup Championship – 8th
  • 10/07/1988 – Brno – Sports Cars World Championship – 9th
  • 07/24/1988 – Brands Hatch – Sports Cars World Championship – 7th
  • 31/07/1988 – Zeltweg – Interseries Championship – 4th / 3rd
  • 07/08/1988 – Diepholz – Supercup Championship – 10th
  • 14/08/1988 – Most – Interseries Championship – 3rd / 3rd
  • 04/09/1988 – Nürburgring – Sports Cars World Championship – 10th
  • 18/09/1988 – Spa – Sports Cars World Championship – 7th
  • 20/11/1988 – 360 km of Sandown – Sports Cars World Championship – DNF
  • 26/11/1988 – 500 km of Kyalami – non-championship race
  • 30/04/1989 – Nürburgring – Supercup Championship – 6th
  • 14/05/1989 – Silverstone – Supercup Championship – 7th
  • 21/05/1989 – 480 km of Dijon – Sports Cars World Championship – 22nd
  • 11/06/1989 – Le Mans 24 Hours – Sports Cars World Championship – NQ
  • 18/06/1989 – Zeltweg – Interseries Championship – 7th and 3rd
  • 25/06/1989 – Norisring – Supercup Championship – 9th
  • 09/07/1989 – Wunstorf – Interseries Championship – 5th / DNF
  • 23/07/1989 – Brands Hatch – Sports Cars World Championship – DNF
  • 20/08/1989 – Nürburgring – Sports Cars World Championship – DNF
  • 03/09/1989 – Donington – Sports Cars World Championship – 16th
  • 17/09/1989 – Spa Cups – Sports Cars World Championship – 16th
  • 24/09/1989 – Nürburgring – Supercup Championship – 11th
  • 29/10/1989 – Mexico City – Sports Cars World Championship – non-starter

 

 

 

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