Remembering the Porsche 956/962

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543
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Houston, Texas
The first sports car race I attended was in 1987, the IMSA GP of San Antonio. What an experience it was standing on the temporary pedestrian bridge over Navarro street during the last minutes of qualifying as the #14 Porsche 962 set pole and SHOOK the bridge under my feet with a blast of air. I'm not sure which of the three drivers was behind the wheel, I think it was Derek Bell. During the race itself there was a close battle for the lead between this car and a 454 Chevy powered car, which eventually dropped back due to ignition issues. The image of the 962 with flames entering the corner lives with me to this day. Anybody else here remember this era of sports car competition?
 
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428
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North Florida
I used to go to the Can-Am races at Road Atlanta back in the early 70's. I got to see Jackie Stewart in a Lola, Mark Donahue and George Folmer in 1000 h.p. Porsche 917's and Peter Revson and Dennis Hulme in big block Chevy powered orange McClaren's. Watching Jackie Stewart drive was a revelation. He was so smooooooth! And until his car broke he was the fastest driver on the track. Other drivers were jerking and sliding around the corners. Stewart just glided around them. The 917's were stupid fast and reliable, but sounded almost quiet because the exhaust was muffled by the turbo chargers. The 500 cu. in. McClaren's sounded just like you would imagine an unmuffled big block would sound. And there was a 3 liter 12 cylinder Ferrari one year that sounded like a screaming banshee, he must have redlined at 10,00 rpm. The six wheeled Shadow raced one year. Weird machine. Those were the days of unrestricted rules. Remember the Chapparal from Texas with the big fan powered by a snowmobile engine and side skirts that sucked the car down on the road. Wild times. Those were the days. Camping in the muddy infield, too little sleep and too much beer!
 

IMSA_Racing_Fan

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543
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Houston, Texas
Great stories! I went to Road Atlanta in 2002 for the ALMS Petit Le Mans 10 hour race, camped out with a group from the now-defunct IMSA.net forum. Great group, very hospitable, and rowdy in a fun way. Holding a jug of wine I and a couple others squatted down behind the short cement barricade by the road pictured in the closing minutes. Tomas Enge in a Ferrari 550 Maranello was battling with Ron Fellows in a C5R, who prevailed. I will never forget the headlights lighting the sky behind the hill and roaring Vette on the tail of the screaming Ferrari.

RoadAtlanta.jpg
 
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428
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North Florida
Originally Posted by IMSA_Racing_Fan
Have you watched this on-board with Jackie Stewart to Pink Floyd's Crazy Diamond?
"A good racing driver doesn't really look like he is going that fast. But in fact it is a clean smooth progressive performance that supplies the speed. (Jackie Stewart)" Exactly. That is what stood out about Stewart the one time I saw him drive. The difference between him and other well known drivers was so obvious once you saw it that it was jaw dropping.
 
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7,983
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Michigan
Yes. My favorite era of IMSA. I loved the Hendricks Corvette GTP, and celebrate when it beat the Porsche's. I think that happened twice. Then the Nissan GTP dominated starting in 1988, with Geoff Brabham winning almost everything. I like the mechanical variety when different manufacturers were competing.
 
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19,683
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Sunny Florida
Totally agree with the comments about Sir Jackie. Amazing talent! And I too loved the IMSA series because of the amazing mechanical diversity of the engineering across manufacturers. Some very cool designs. Kudos to those Hendricks Teams for amazing achievements in much simpler platforms.
 
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8,776
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Virginia
Originally Posted by IMSA_Racing_Fan
"Smooth is fast" is a concept difficult for the layman to understand or appreciate.
Makes sense... Just like in swimming in a pool... Less splash equals faster swimmer.
 
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428
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North Florida
Originally Posted by SteveSRT8
Totally agree with the comments about Sir Jackie. Amazing talent! And I too loved the IMSA series because of the amazing mechanical diversity of the engineering across manufacturers. Some very cool designs. Kudos to those Hendricks Teams for amazing achievements in much simpler platforms.
Steve, if want to talk about cool designs and engineering, the Can-Am series of the late 60's and 70's had it in spades. JIm Hall's Chaparral 2J: https://www.roadandtrack.com/motorsports/a32350/jim-hall-chaparral-2j-history/ These are the cars I remember seeing race at Road Atlanta: https://www.hemmings.com/stories/20...o-racing-like-the-original-can-am-series
 
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