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Photo: Mike Jiggle Archive

When considering my greatest racecar, the question seems far too big for me to give a simple answer. I drove some terrific cars in my motor racing history. I suppose the ones that stand out, particularly in terms of those I had the most success in, are the Porsche 956 and 962. I always preferred the shorter wheelbase 956 model. They pushed the wheels forward to comply with new safety regulations, although I don’t really think it made much difference as there was the same amount of material in front of your feet in either mode. I’m not sure the positioning of the wheels made that much difference. However, in 962 mode it lost a bit of the balance it had in 956 mode, you tended to understeer more and you lost a bit of the “turn-in.” As a whole, I don’t think the 962 outwardly looked as good as the 956, especially in the long-tailed Le Mans form. In the 956, resplendent in the Canon livery, I won the 1000K at Brands Hatch with Jan Lammers. Co-driven with James Weaver and team boss Richard Lloyd, I came 2nd at Le Mans in 1985. Of course, the 956 was given the Richard Lloyd Racing special treatment with Nigel Stroud at the helm of the redesign team. The whole car was given extra torsional strength and considerable changes to the front suspension were also made to incorporate rising-rate springing. The braking system was also reworked to make it easier to replace mid-race should the need arise. Stroud also made subtle changes to the 962 chassis, too. In both instances the RLR approach was to make the cars more competitive, safer to drive and easier to work on in the pit lane during the course of the race.

Staying with sportscars, I had a great drive in the Sauber Mercedes at Le Mans in 1991—that was an awesome car. It was much more rigid than the Porsche with its composite chassis, the engine, too, with the V8, was more highly boosted than the flat-6 Porsche. The Mercedes 5-liter V8 had immense torque and effortless power and the car felt so tough—I led Le Mans with that car, although ultimately it wasn’t that tough as we had to retire from the Le Mans race with alternator problems.

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