Few club level race cars can tout international competition credentials and fewer still as extensive as Urs Gretener’s 993 GT2-bodied 1983 Porsche 930. Though this racer now calls the storied Laguna Seca its home track, it first competed at Imola, Monza, Dijon, Hockenheim and the Nurburgring.
“We called them flamethrowers!” Gretener said, remembering the first time he watched turbocharged 911s take to the Circuit de Dijon-Prenois in France.
“Flames would pop from the tail pipe at the end of the straight,” he said with a grin. Throughout the 1980s, the Swiss-born, highly energetic Gretener raced a 1980 911 SC throughout Europe.
In 1990, Urs moved to the U.S. to start his own fabrication business, Gretener Prototype Engineering, in Paso Robles, California. While much of his time went into his business, he yearned to get back in a racing seat.
“I had left my SC at my parents’ home in Switzerland, so I would only get to fly back a few times a year to run it at Dijon or Hockenheim,” said Gretener. “Then, I sold my ’80 911 and started looking for a 964 RS.”
A 260-hp Carrera 2 RS would have been a nice step up from the 3.0 SC, but Gretener’s long-time friend, fellow Swiss race driver, and owner of the Swiss Garage Hausherr race shop, Markus Hausherr, had other ideas.
“Markus had a white 1980 930 that he ran at the track,” Gretener remembered. “We were at Dijon and he wanted me to go for a ride in his car before I made up my mind about buying a 964. We went out for about three laps, then he pulled into the pits and said, ‘Driver change.’” After a half-dozen laps on the 2.4-mile circuit, Gretener forgot about the RS.