Reinhold Joest’s highly professional customer squad won the 24 hour races of 1996 and 1997 with the Porsche Joest WSC Spyder. Porsche had designed this open “World Sports Car” prototype for racing in the USA but aborted the campaign after a short-term rule change for 1995. Former race driver and now profiled motorsports team boss Reinhold Joest took over the existing prototype from Porsche and had the aerodynamics as well as the suspension thoroughly modified by the Weissach engineers at his own expense.
A second Porsche WSC Spyder was built. Both cars featured a carbon-fibre monocoque, a carbon-fibre plastic body and a flat underbody as stipulated by the regulations. The well-proven and outstandingly successful three-litre six cylinder twin-turbo of the 962 C was selected as a power source – and it would turn out to be one of the crucial ingredients of success for the Joest WSC Spyder thanks to its fuel efficiency.
Once the race was on, the Joest WSC Spyder were able to run for up to four hours on one set of tyres thanks to their tyre preserving set-up – another advantage over the opposition.
Preparing the Joest WSC Spyder for its Le Mans campaign had been a race in itself. Only in February had Porsche and Joest given the goahead for the project and the last tests were conducted just a week prior to the pre-test at Le Mans in May.
The pre-tests had underlined the pace of the Spyder, and in qualifying a Porsche Joest WSC Spyder grabbed pole position. In the race, the Spyder with starting number 7 proved unbeatable – even for the two works-911 GT1. In 1997 the Joest WSC Spyder with the same starting number would return to Le Mans and win again.