From the Garden of England, we move to West Germany and the Rhine River as the new yet unloved Nurburgring plays host to the Group C cars once again. Jaguar wants to take a broom, and make it a clean sweep against their rivals, Porsche and Mercedes, who are here in force for their home race in Deutschland. Eddie Cheever is ready to go, and knows that if his team wins today, again, on home ground for Mercedes and Porsche, Jaguar is going to lock up the World Teams’ Championship. Kouros Mercedes and privately entered Porsche’s are ready to take on the challenge, too.
But, this race gets off to a rocky start for Derek Bell. Hans Stuck lost a wheel during qualifying, and the car doesn’t start on the grid, and has to be pushed to start before the formation lap. Mauro Baldi’s Liqui Moly Porsche 962 #15, he is sharing again with Johnny Palmer, has to have an engine change before the morning warmup. Will the new motor last the distance? Green flag, and away we go! We’re racing the Nurburgring 1,000 Kilometers! More trouble for the Liqui Moly car. There’s a loose exhaust on the car and Baldi is swamped by the field as the lights flash green.
Klaus Ludwig is the surprise race leader sharing the #9 Joest Racing Porsche 962C with Bob Wollek. Ludwig leads over Eddie Cheever, Jochen Mass, Mike Thackwell, and Jan Lammers. Klaus Ludwig is on a mission here. He wants to do well at his home race. Ludwig is pulling away from everyone else, perhaps on a Sunday drive. Oh boy. Look at that. Some argy bargy between Thackwell’s Mercedes and Cheever’s Jaguar! Gently, boys. The factory cars are going at it hard. Derek Bell is pressing his way through the field. Remember now, the Rothmans colors are on the Joest Porsche. This is no longer a factory backed car.
Klaus Ludwig is putting on a clinic at the moment, miles ahead of his competition. Bernard De Dryver, the Belgian has taken the #72 Primagaz Competition Porsche 962C to eighth overall. He is sharing with lady racer Cathy Muller of France, and German Jurgen Lassig, here at the Nurburgring. Klaus Ludwig thought he’d have it all his own way, but as we can see, Mike Thackwell, he is catching the Porsche hand over fist, and has the two factory Jaguar’s in tow. Cheever and Lammers are right with him. Lammers, too, pulls out of his team mate’s slipstream, and passes him by. Joest and Brun Porsche’s scrap for ninth, with Frank Jelinski in the Taka-Q liveried 962 gaining the place. He is sharing with John Winter, his countryman, and with Sweden’s Stanley Dickens.
In C2, Will Hoy has the Schanche Racing Argo ahead of the Spice in the hands of Gordon Spice, and David Leslie in the #102 Ecosse he shares with Mike Wilds. Reliability is still a big issue for the Argo. Jan Lammers has stretched his lead over Eddie Cheever and into sixth spot overall comes the Joest Porsche with Frank Jelinski at the wheel of it. Oh no! Trouble for Jaguar. Jan Lammers’ V12 motor has gone ka-blammo! Lammers is out even before his team mate John Watson has his first stint in the motor race. TWR Jaguar cannot be happy about this.
Klaus Ludwig leads, and Mike Thackwell in the thundering V8 Mercedes is now second. What a gorgeous race car it is. Poor old Derek Bell, he is going to be lapped even before the first pit stops for fuel commence as Eddie Cheever in the sole remaining Jaguar is bearing down on him. Jaguar is still in the fight with just one hour on the board even though they are down to a single bullet in the gun. Pit stop time for Cheever, and Raul Boesel takes over as fuel is added and tires are changed. Jaguar is quietly confident that they can beat the Germans on their home turf. With the Sauber Mercedes losing spots, and the fact that the Joest Porsche of Ludwig is jammed in third gear, this could be a Sunday school picnic for the boys from Coventry.
Hans Stuck is gaining ground in the #7 Joest Porsche after taking over from Derek Bell. Stuck makes light work of the #121 Cosmic GP Motorsports, Metaxa Tiga. The Ford Cosworth powered C2 racer has Greece’s Costas Los and Britain’s Dudley Wood sharing the driving chores. Hans Stuck is promoted to third as new leader, Mike Thackwell runs into transmission issues. The Sauber Mercedes is jammed in third gear. Game over as the German cars are running into problems. Jochen Mass and Oscar Larrauri inherit a final podium place in the #2 lui/Eterna Brun Motorsport 962. Jaguar, Eddie Cheever, and Raul Boesel have taken firm control of this race, leading by a country mile.
Third place man in C2, Costas Los, moves over and politely lets Hans Stuck through. Stuck is trying as hard as ever to catch Jochen Mass, but Jaguar is the star of the day here at Nurburgring, and they’ve left the German brands dumbfounded on their home track. Metaxa Tiga makes their last pit stop. Team manager Keith Green is certain his calculations are correct that they can make it on fuel. Spice lead C2 with Swiftair Ecosse second in class. The Los/Wood car is catching up, fast. Rothmans Joest Porsche inherits second when the Brun car has to retire with a broken brake line. They are still three laps in arrears of Jaguar.
Costas Los and Dudley Wood are going to inherit the win in C2 after the leading Spice is disqualified by the stewards. The team tried to bump start the car in pit lane when the motor wouldn’t fire up, and according to the rules, that is forbidden. Also, with just three laps remaining, Swiftair Ecosse runs out of fuel. Meanwhile, Jaguar can celebrate! Not only have they scored their sixth win of 1987, they’ve also sealed up the 1987 World Sports Car Championship! It’s win number one in C2 for Cosmic GP Motorsport and driver’s Costas Los and Dudley Wood! Jaguar are on top of the world in Deutschland. Let’s take a look at the results.
- #4 Cheever/Boesel Jaguar XJR-8 Silk Cut Jaguar
- #7 Bell/Stuck Porsche 962C Joest Racing
- #2 Mass/Larrauri Porsche 962C Brun Motorsport
- #8 Jelinski/Winter/Dickens Porsche 962C Joest Racing
- #15 Baldi/Palmer Porsche 962C Britten – Lloyd Racing
- #3 Kaufmann/Hunkeler/Pareja Porsche 962C Brun Motorsport
- #72 Lassig/Muller/de Dryver Porsche 962C Primagaz Competition
- #31 Dauer/Grohs Porsche 962C Dauer Racing
- #121 Los/Wood Tiga GC287 Ford Cosworth Cosmic GP Motorsport*
- #106 Barberio/Veninata/Randaccio Tiga GC85 Ford Cosworth Kelmar Racing
With two races to go and the teams’ title in the bag, Jaguar has to focus on the driver’s championship. Here are the teams’ points.
- Silk Cut Jaguar 138 points*
- Porsche AG 74 points
- Brun Motorsport 69 points
- Joest Racing 47 points
- Britten Lloyd Racing 46 points
- Kremer Porsche 41 points
Any one of four drivers can go for the title. Here are the driver’s points in C1.
- Raul Boesel 110 points
- Derek Bell 99 points
- Hans Stuck 99 points
- Eddie Cheever 90 points
- Jan Lammers 67 points
- John Watson 67 points
In the C2 teams’ battle, Spice and Ecosse are fighting again, only three points apart.
- Spice Engineering 130 points
- Swiftair Ecosse 127 points
- Kelmar Racing 43 points
- Team Tiga Ford 38 points
The C2 drivers’ standings look like this.
- Gordon Spice 130 points
- Fermin Velez 130 points
- Ray Mallock 115 points
- David Leslie 115 points
- Mike Wilds 46 points
Next up, the Ardennes forest in Belgium for the Spa 1,000 Kilometers, in two weeks.