In February 1996 the Porsche member of the board for R&D Horst Marchart and Reinhold Joest come to an agreement that two WSC sports prototypes, originally intended for competition in the USA, should contest the Le Mans 24 hour race under the direction of the Joest team. Porsche and Joest push ahead with the development of the WSC – albeit with Joest as a paying customer for the know-how of the Stuttgart manufacturer.
One week prior to the pre-qualifying the WSC Joest Spyder featuring 550 Porsche horsepower and weighing 890 kilos confirms all expectations by passing all decisive tests at the Paul Ricard circuit. The Joest troupe enhanced by Porsche employees manages to leap the pre-qualification hurdle with style.
Chances for the race look good. The regulations allow the sportscar, which competes in the LMP1 class, to feature an 80-litre fuel tank with tyres measuring 16 inches in width. The weight, engine performance, tyre width and fuel capacity give the Porsche a tiny advantage, albeit on paper, compared to the GT1 class in which the Porsche team has entered two new 911 GT1s. As trump card the relatively low fuel consumption of the Porsche engine in the race allows the vehicle to complete twelve laps per tank. Additionally, the suspension is easy on the tyres, allowing up to four stints per set.
In lap seven of the race Davy Jones takes over the lead at the wheel of the WSC Joest Spyder with starting number seven, which apart from a brief moment on Sunday morning, it does not relinquish again. Jones, Manuel Reuter and Alexander Wurz receive the flag at 3pm on Sunday as winners.
In the earlier stage, Michele Alboreto, Pierluigi Martini and Didier Theys with their WSC Joest Spyder with starting number eight maintain the pace with the front pack – until a Martini puts the Porsche into the gravel. Although it can continue, the car eventually retires with a broken driveshaft one hour before the finish.
|Engine:||Six-Cylinder boxer, dual turbos, water-cooled block and head, 2 intake and 2 discharge valves per cylinder, 2 exhaust gas turbo chargers, 2 charge-air intercoolers, dry sump lubrication|
|Power:||Approx. 540 hp at 7.700 rpm|
|Fuel system:||80 litre safety tank with integrated catchtank, rapid tank valves and reserve switch|
|Transmission:||Five-speed with Salisbury limited-slip differential, jet lubrication, cooling via heat exchanger in the water circuit, new differential and clutch housing, mid engine, rear wheel drive|
|Chassis:||Open, two-seat sports prototype, flat underbody without diffuser, to regulations, oil cooling via heat exchanger, air jacks, double-wishbones front and rear, pushrod spring actuation front and rear, torsion-bar springs in front, coil springs in the rear, penske shock absorber system, brembo brakes front and rear, four-piston, fixed saddles, brake balance adjustment from the cockpit|
|Dimensions and weight:||890 kg|