The arresting orange hue of a Jägermeister race car is one of the most iconic sights in all of motorsport. And the story of this particular machine, with a race-proven pedigree from one of Porsche’s most reputed customer program members, is as intoxicating as the German digestif itself.
Brun Motorsport first purchased chassis 962-117 as a replacement tub for chassis 107, which was damaged in a crash at Le Mans in 1985. Once it was assembled and put into service, chassis 117 enjoyed a respectable career.
In the 1986 running of the 1,000km of Spa, Thierry Boutsen and Frank Jelinski drove this Jäger 962 to victory over a 6.5-liter V-12 Jaguar XJR-6 by mere seconds, making it one of the closest finishes in WSC history.
Later that season, car owner Walter Brun himself took the wheel and came up victorious at the Interserie Zeltweg II race at Austria’s Österreichring. This circuit was renamed the A1-Ring until 2004, when a man named Dietrich Mateschitz gave it wings and named it the Red Bull Ring.
Many celebrated drivers piloted chassis 117, including the great Jochen Mass, in 36 races between 1986 and 1989. In addition to the two wins, this 962 also earned 23 top ten finishes. Chassis 117 contested its final race on June 25, 1989, at the Jarama circuit in Spain, finishing in 11th place.
Once Brun decommissioned the car, it was sold to a Central American investor. For some time after this, the Jäger 962 languished in the Imperial Palace Hotel’s car collection—now known as The Auto Collections—in Las Vegas. While this is an impressive assemblage of automobiles, it would be a travesty for chassis 962-117 to live out its days collecting dust between a decrepit Duesenberg and Johnny Carson’s Chrysler.
Fortunately, the saga of this 962 doesn’t end here, although there are some large gaps in the timeline—which, coincidentally, is the same fate that awaits those without a healthy respect for Jägermeister.