If ever you feel the urge to show your tech-addled friends why the racing of yesteryear was better, these videos are very persuasive tools. In the days before big downforce in Porsche Supercup racing, these lightweight 964 Cups forced a driver to slide, dice, cut chunks off the circuit, and hop curbs to find whatever advantage they could. In a field of young lions gunning for a valuable prize—many of whom would also race in DTM, Le Mans, and F3000—they would sometimes produce stirring battles like this one.
Uwe Alzen would go on to finish this closely-fought season in second, and Altfrid Heger would clinch the title by two point (154 to 152). You can see the vigor and commitment these two applied in this bare-knuckles brawl on Hockenheim's old, through-the-forest layout. The course rewards plenty of entry speed, but with so many long straights, a clean exit is often the focus here. Therefore, the smallest mistakes are dearly paid for, and these two stretch the limit of what's acceptable to try and eke out an edge. It is stirring stuff, and I've just spent the last ten minutes giggling at every agricultural, two-wheeling excursion, which seem to happen every twenty seconds or so.
It's all the product of a big prize and a simple racing car. The '93 Cup Car consisted of 964RS body, a welded roll cage, a stripped interior, a modified chassis, 18" magnesium wheels, and a car which sat 75mm lower than the road-going variant. To capitalize on the 3.6-liter's 275 horsepower and 230 lb-ft, all of which arrived in the middle of the rev range, modified gear ratios were implemented. It's not a wild departure from the road car, and yet, at 2,470 pounds, it's a real track scalpel.
To compare what the current crop of Cup Cars is like, Mr. Heger sampled one and commented on the level of downforce, whereas the old cars had "upforce," he chuckles. Additionally, he noted that the tooth-and-nail driving style he employed twenty-five years ago wouldn't fly with today's regulations, as "you will lose your license for sure."