The Gunnar Porsche 966 is the first open cockpit prototype to race in the American IMSA sportscar racing series. Built in 1990, this 962 based prototype was conceived and built by Porsche racing authority Kevin Jeannette of Gunnar Racing in Riviera Beach, Florida. Jeannette is a Porsche restoration specialist and a historian on all things Porsche, especially the early racing Porsches. If you look closely at the Gunnar 966 you can see design elements from both the Porsche 917 and the Porsche 936. From the Porsche 936 a similiar open cockpit design was used, less obvious from the 917 is the placement of the oil cooler on the 966 that is placed in the front of the car identical to the Porsche 917.
Quite often older racing cars like this are tucked away in musuems or even worse, left sitting in the back corner of a warehouse, but this car is owned by a guy who wants to use it. Our project with this car is a complete mechanical overhaul, in addition we will update the car with a current engine management system. We have decided to use a MoTeC engine management system because of the professional quality and the flexibility to control any parameter we choose. With the bodywork and drivetrain removed we now have complete access to inspect the chassis.
With everything off the car we can inspect the chassis for corrosion and give it a good cleaning. This chassis was made by Ex-Lola engineer Jim Chapman. Chapman was given the task of designing a safer 962 chassis from Jim Busby after an accident at Daytona in 1985.
This view is looking down into the cockpit from the front. This car is right hand drive so the driver sits on the left in this picture. On the right side about the opening for the fuel cell you can see the bar that we have fabricated to attach shoulder belts for a passenger. The 966 is a special car and we thought that it would be fun to let a passenger experience the incredible rush of going around the track for a ride with a professional driver at the wheel. In addition to installing seat belts and making a seat we will also have to relocate the components that had previously been located in that area, like any project, it seems the work list always gets bigger.