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Porsche 962C-Crash-Spa Francorchamps

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$1.2 Million Porsche 962C race car crashes at Spa Francorchamps

A Porsche 962C race car crashed at Spa Francorchamps earlier this month. The accident took place on the start/finish straight as the car was exiting the Bus stop chicane. Fortunately, the driver walked away without injuries. However, the car suffered heavy damage.

As you can see in the video posted by Auto Addiction, the Porsche 962C negotiates the final chicane and just as the driver applies the throttle, the rear end steps out. Before the driver could correct it, the car slams into the tire barrier. The impact was such that the front end was completely smashed into pieces.

According to Wayne Dempsey of Dempsey Motorsports, cold tires might explain the lack of traction. He also believes that this car may have been built from a spare period chassis and may not have any real sporting history behind it.

Still, the repairs won’t be cheap. Dempsey believes that it would be cheaper to get a new chassis made instead of trying to repair the existing one. The total bill could be around $200,000-$250,000.

Hi everyone. Yes, this is pretty painful to watch. We’ve got seven of these cars at Dempsey Motorsports so it pains one to see this happen. I do have the following thoughts in response to a few comments below:

I believe this car was built up from a spare period chassis and created from parts (at least that’s what the Steinmann website on the car says). As such, there may not be any real history associated with it. From the looks of the car and the wreckage, it all looks like pretty genuine stuff. We have a ton of spares, so if this car gets rebuilt, I guarantee we’ll be getting a phone call.

– The turbo lag on these cars is really not that bad, and they have a reputation for being relatively easy-to-drive when compared to a widow-maker like the Porsche 935. They are relatively forgiving to novice drivers (like myself), and the tires are wide and very sticky which means that you can often make “mistakes” and “errors in judgement”, and the car will shrug it off. What happened here? Hard to tell, but at first glance, it looks like the driver was accelerating on cold tires. Accidents in the pits back in the day used to happen quite often when cars with cold tires were driven hard right out of pit lane. This is one of the reasons why I really like tracks that have a lot of dirt on both sides (like Laguna Seca) – you can get away with “issues” without hurting yourself or your car…

The cost to repair something like this? Unfortunately, every single nut and bolt would need to be removed from this and the chassis sent to EY3 or a similar shop for disassembly and repair. With the apparent lack of period race history, it may just be more economical to have a new chassis made. They used to be about $35K, but the last one I got a quote for was well over $100K (blame it on Covid?). So, look at $200K-250K USD or more to put this thing back together. Then, at the end, the value would be somewhat limited by the fact that this car was built up from parts (if the Steinmann website is indeed correct).

– My builder this morning remarked as well about the seat belts and the driver position during the accident. He thinks that the seat belt mounting points may not have been reinforced (as is somewhat standard for this type of Thompson-built chassis). They do rip out on impact, which is why he always reinforces them with a steel doubler plate inside combined with through bolts.

-Wayne

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