After reading the June 2002 issue, I would say that not only is the Porsche 956/962 the greatest ever Le Mans car, but it could possibly be the greatest sportscar ever built, eclipsing even the 917 and the 934/935.
I never saw a 917 race in anger although I remember the Kremer brothers racing an updated version in England in the 1980s as a shakedown for Le Mans.
The 934 and 935 raced in my era, and I can vividly recall the long spouts of flame from the exhausts as the drivers came off the throttle, particularly in the 935.
I was at Silverstone in 1982 for the Six Hours at which the 956 made its world debut, and it was generally agreed that it was going to be a hard car to beat I can clearly recall the Lancia team poring over it and shaking their heads in disbelief. They obviously realised that the LC2 was going to struggle.
The cars were so quick and looked as if they were on rails when they cornered. It was only because of fuel limitations that they didn’t trounce the Lancias at Silverstone.
Some will say that the car led to the death of sportscar racing, but I don’t hold to that argument. Porsche simply designed and built the best car possible to win races and world titles. When the opposition couldn’t beat them they simply gave up. Hardly fair to blame Porsche, is it?
I am, Yours etc, Ian Giles, West Midlands