1988-1989 Busby Porsche 962
Images copyright Michael Colucci
Text copyright Michael J. Fuller
Nearly as soon as Jim Busby's 962s were delivered back in late '84, just prior to the 1985 Daytona 24, did the team begin to tinker with the car.  At first the modifications were relatively simple and consisted of bodywork changes and relocating the turbo and related plumbing.
But by the late 80s it was clear the old-dog 962 needed much more.  “The 962 was 1982-tech, actually 1980/81 considering when it was designed, being raced in 1990 (nearly)” says Jim Busby.  Michael Colucci elaborates a bit more, “The areas of weakness were the chassis (not very stiff only 5350 lbs per degree)...not as much down force as the Nissan, Jag, and later the Toyota…”  Busby’s team embarked on a substantial redevelopment in order to improve overall torsional rigidity and aerodynamic downforce.
Testing at Riverside in early 1988 (above and to left) showed that the modified car was 3/4 to 1 second quicker than the standard 962.  Ultimately it was uncertain where the gains came from, so many modifications were made.  "(it) Was faster on the stop watch and that’s all I was concerned with," say Colucci.  Clearly the aero downforce was improved and Jim Busby makes a point of indicating that with the standard 962 you'd have to lift for the kink at Road America, not so with the updated car.
ęCopyright 2008, Michael J. Fuller