PORSCHE 962

Motor Sport News - - Great Cars -

“The 962 was like pulling up your favourite arm­chair,” says Reid of one of Porsche’s great­est sportscars. “It was built for pur­pose, was re­li­able, ro­bust – great Ger­man engi­neer­ing. It didn’t have any nasty quirks.”

Although the Porsche helped launch his six-sea­son ca­reer in Ja­pan, Reid’s top 962 mem­o­ries both come from Europe. The one that most will re­mem­ber is the 1990 Le Mans 24 Hours, where debu­tant Reid, Tiff Needell and David Sears worked their way up from 20th on the grid to fin­ish third in their Ja­panese-run Al­pha Rac­ing 962, be­hind a fa­mous TWR Jaguar 1-2.

Key to the suc­cess was the de­ci­sion to go with the higher down­force short tail for the Mul­sanne Straight’s two new chi­canes – the crack Joest Porsche squad opted for the low-drag long tail and suf­fered.

“The one thing that has stood me in good stead is my feel for what will work,” says Reid. “We had the long and short tails and we had a heated ar­gu­ment about it. I said more down­force would be bet­ter – it helps you look af­ter things like the tyres – and it paid off. I’ve al­ways liked to run that lit­tle bit more down­force.”

A 962 vic­tory came later that sea­son, at the Oster­re­ichring, when Reid en­tered the In­ter serie fi­nale. Bernd Sch­nei­der and Wal­ter Lech­ner had won all the races be­tween them in 1990, but Reid was able to snatch vic­tory, much to the lo­cals’ cha­grin.

“I got the jump on Bernd off the line and held on,” re­calls Reid. “They weren’t ex­pect­ing it and couldn’t find the Bri­tish na­tional an­them! That was a fan­tas­tic race.”

All-brit crew took third at ’90 Le Mans

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