Video: Watch a one-of-one Porsche 961 on a rare outing at Zandvoort

15th May 2024
Russell Campbell

Like many race cars, the Porsche 961 lived and died by regulations. Based on the all-singing-all-dancing 959 hypercar – with four-wheel-drive, sequential turbocharging and active suspension – Stuttgart built the 961 to sew up Group B racing in the same way the 956 dominated Group C.

The 961 used the 959’s chassis, engine, and a rear-biased version of the car’s four-wheel drive but got lighter body panels and simpler suspension better suited to the trials of endurance racing. The Porsche’s 2.84-litre flat-six was good for a 649PS (477kW) and 629Nm (464lb ft) of torque, figures translated to a top speed of more than 210mph and the vivid acceleration you would expect in a car weighing just 1,150kg. 

Suitably armed, the 961 raced at Le Mans in 1986, finishing seventh behind a list of competitors composed exclusively of Group C Porsches like the 936, 956, and 962. Sadly, its 1987 campaign was less successful, running no higher than eleventh; the 961 crashed out of the French endurance race after a missed gear and subsequently went on fire as Kees Nierop nursed it back to the pits. And that’s the last we saw of the only 961 in existence, which makes this video so special, as we join Robert Albas for a lap around the old circuit at Zandvoort. 

What follows is a unique juxtaposition as we’re immersed in the engine roar, turbo whistle, transmission whine and vibrations of a Group B racer but with four-wheel-drive traction that makes the Porsche’s explosive performance seem almost accessible. Perhaps it’s not a surprise to hear the Porsche Museum – the 961’s current home – turned down the engine to preserve what is a one-of-one car.

Welcome to Goodwood Elevenses, a helping of motoring-related amusement to help break up your day. Watch the last video: Screaming V6 Mercedes C‑Class touring car at Spa


  • Race

  • Historic

  • Porsche

  • 961

  • Elevenses

  • Video



Video: Watch a one-of-one Porsche 961 on a rare outing at Zandvoort

15th May



The 911 GT3R Hybrid isn't the killer a 961 is

01st July 2022



Video: Pushing a Porsche 904 to the absolute limit

01st April 2022



Video: The incredible Porsche 993 GT2 is a true fire-breather

21st December 2022



Video: Classic 911 hillclimb action

04th February 2021



Video: McMurtry embarrasses McLaren GT3 around Silverstone

16th May



Video: Porsche 911 dominates Dijon

06th August 2020



Video: Casually drifting two Porsche 550 Spyders in the snow

19th July 2022