Porsche 962 C 1987 Le Mans 24 Hours race winner T-shirt

Porsche 962 C 1987 Le Mans 24 Hours Race Winner T-Shirt

From 1984 to 1991, Porsche built 91 examples of their 962, 16 of which were campaigned by the Porsche factory team and the rest sold to privateers. Thanks to its excellent performance and reliability, the 962 went on to become the longest-lived and most dominant sports prototype race car ever produced.

The Porsche 962 evolved from the highly successful and revolutionary 956 which had been introduced in 1982. The 956 was built to comply with the FIA's Group C regulations governing international sports car racing. These regulations imposed a minimum weight limit on the cars and restricted the number of refueling stops allowed for a given race distance. The 956 was an immediate winner, scoring four victories in a row at the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 1982 to 1985 in the hands of the Rothmans Porsche factory team ('82 & '83) and the Joest Racing privateer team ('84 & '85). The 962 gradually replaced the 956 in the interest of driver safety. The 962 featured a longer wheelbase than the 956, with the front wheels moving slightly forward thereby placing the front axle centerline ahead of the driver's feet and control pedals. The 962 also featured cockpit roll-over bars made of steel rather than weaker aluminum as used in the 956.

Prepared by the Rothmans Porsche factory team, the 962 scored its maiden win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1986. The same team and drivers would repeat this accomplishment the following year. The blue and white #17 Rothmans Porsche 962 C campaigned at Le Mans in 1987 was powered by a twin-turbocharged 3-liter flat-six engine that produced 700 horsepower and featured water-cooled cylinder heads, dual overhead camshafts and 4 valves-per-cylinder. Piloted by Englishman Derek Bell, American Al Holbert, and German Hans-Joachim Stuck, the #17 962 C won the race completing 355 laps and covering a distance of 2977 miles at an average speed of 124 miles per hour.

Only three of the eleven 962 Cs that started the race in 1987 would see the chequered flag. The rest retired with engine failure due to a supply of poor-quality fuel. The #17 962 C avoided disaster thanks to the team making adjustments to the engine management electronics mid-race, allowing it to engage three V12-powered Jaguar XJR-8s in a fierce battle for sixteen hours. As trouble befell the Jaguars, the #17 Porsche 962 C cruised to victory, winning by a twenty lap margin. This performance in 1987 earned Porsche its 12th overall victory at Le Mans and capped a remarkable 7-year winning streak that began in 1981. It also marked Porsche's final victory at Le Mans under Group C regulations.

Multi-color print on a Blue 100% cotton shirt.


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