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​Porsche 962 Works Car (Chassis #004)

One of three Rothmans-backed works cars, this was the number one car driven by Jackie Ickx

Porsche 962-004 Works

As the first 962 was the IMSA test bed, next to be built were the first three works 962Cs.
Chassis 004 duly lined up in fifth position as car number three at its debut at the 1985 Le Mans driven by Al Holbert, John Watson and Vern Schuppan. But the race did not go the way of the factory team, despite locking out the front of the grid in qualifying.

Various issues relegated the 002 and 003 cars to tenth and third at the flag. 004 started from fifth place and worked its way up to second after the first six hours or so; the position it held for the following ten hours.

A rare engine problem dropped it back to fifth at around 9am the following morning, with final retirement due to engine trouble with just three hours of the race remaining. Happily, thanks to the Porsche customer programme, a Joest New Man 956 was there to pick up the pieces, winning the race and sparing Porsche any corporate blushes, with the Richard Lloyd Canon 956 finishing second and eight Group C Porsches finishing within the top ten.

004 did three more races that year, all running as car number one, with the Jacky Ickx/Jochen Mass A-team at its wheel, finishing in second place at Mosport, but with non- finishes at Hockenheim and Spa. Ickx would call time on his remarkable year and retired at the end of the season.
For 1986, Mass was joined by Bob Wollek but the luck of 962/004 did not change. There were no wins and despite qualifying on pole for Le Mans, being joined by Vern Schuppan and sitting in second and third positions for almost half the race, retirement awaited. Then, at the Nürburgring, Stuck’s sister car hit Mass in appalling weather, and that was the end of the 1986 season for both 962/003 and 004.

The factory rebuilt 004, which had come off with far lighter damage than 962/003, was sold to Joest to campaign as the satellite factory supported team in 1987, after the works team withdrew from the world championship after winning Le Mans that year. It raced with the works pairing of Derek Bell and Hans Stuck, in Rothmans livery at the Nürburgring 1000km, finishing second to the totally dominant Jaguar XJR 8, and also at Spa, finishing fifth – both sporting the famous Joest lucky number seven.

004 was also driven very successfully by works drivers Bob Wollek and Klaus Ludwig in a number of different liveries that year, including Blaupunkt, Camel and SAT, with results including a heat win for Bob at Kyalami and second overall and a couple of podiums for Frank Jelinski in the ADAC Supercup.

For 1988, it sported the Blaupunkt livery, with a podium finish at the first world championship round in Jerez, with Wollek and Ludwig, and it finally finished Le Mans at the third attempt, with a creditable fifth place for David Hobbs, Franz Konrad and Didier Theys, behind two Jaguar XJR9s. At the end of 1988, 004 was acquired by a collector in the USA and retired.

The car has now been restored to its original Rothmans livery.

Text from Historic Porsche. For more information check out their full article and history here.