Don’t Feel Bad If You Get Passed by a Porsche 962

Gif: iamnotgoodatcomputer/YouTube

Imagine motoring at the track at a leisurely speed, and what’s that behind you? Oh just a Porsche 962, perhaps the greatest sports-prototype racer ever made.


I have little context for this vid, and honestly for a moment wasn’t even sure what kind of car the yellow one is. But on Reddit the apparent driver says it’s a Lotus 23.

The driver also gave some observations:

The brakes are pretty limited. And they heat up quickly. You really have to stand on it to slow the car.

No power steering and a tiny steering wheel means it’s a pretty hard to get it around the paddock. Not too bad on track. Maybe less hard to steer than my Spec Miata despite the smaller wheel. The day after was “I’m a bit sore” whereas post SM race is “My shoulder is going to fall off”

The handling is delightful and it is incredibly nimble. You think, “I want to put the tire there” and that is where it goes. It’s almost telepathic. Modern cars don’t compare.

Shifting is very different. It’s got a dog box - there are no synchros. You preload the shifter and then lift or blip depending and the transmission clicks into gear. It’s very satisfying, blazingly fast, and very easy and fluid to execute.

First gear is insanely tall. Maybe I’m supposed to be using it while driving? But I don’t. Getting it to start moving is VERY hard.

Some things are not too expensive, since the car was so thoroughly cloned that lots of parts are available.

The engine is a Lotus Twincam which has supposedly been tuned to ~185 hp. The shop that did it has built engines that top 200hp. I am told it will get 15 hours on a rebuild at this level.

~1000 lbs + 185hp = it really hustles when you get everything right

I was told not to rev the hell out of it, I was shifting at 6-7k RPM. It doesn’t make much power at the bottom.

It takes 5-10 minutes to get to temperature before you can go out. It is unhappy about idling so you have to sit there with your foot slightly on the throttle.

There is zero room in the footwell. The steering column goes right between your feet.

Since it’s a historic it runs the knobbly tires. They have a lot of grip but you have to be paying attention. The car can move around quite a bit.

I certainly support running your old Lotus out on the track, though it does seem a little like hell. I also, obviously, support running your Porsche 962, and what I like most about this video is just how effortless the overtaking is.

One of the GOATs is there for a second, and gone in an instant.

Update, 7:17 p.m.: Twitter user Noah Wheeler tweeted some more info. I’ve also updated the hat tip.

[h/t joshu]



Seeing as Gordon Murray said the lotus elan had the best steering of any car he’s ever driven, I would say they had a pretty good bead on driving dynamics.

He’s right about modern cars not comparing. I think they have to be a little more numb because they’re so heavy. My Exige has the best steering of any modern car I’ve driven... No power steering and a tiny steering wheel.