A Porsche winning at Le Mans is not a rare occurrence, but there was something special about 1979's 935
Porsche has a fantastic history at Le Mans, and in fact still holds the record for number of wins at the gruelling 24-hour race. While most probably think of the 917s and the mighty Group C 956s and 962s, one of Porsche’s most memorable victories was the 935 in 1979.
This was the Kremer team 935 K3, driven by Klaus Ludwig, Don Whittington and Bill Whittington to the overall win, leading a top-four all-Porsche finish.
Originally launched in 1976, the 935 was a Group 5 homologated racer, based on the 911 Turbo. It was an evolution of the earlier Porsche Carrera RSR 2.1 turbo prototype – the second place finisher in the 1974 Le Mans race.
Throughout its racing career, the various 935 models were hugely successful, winning a total of 123 of the 370 races, reigning supreme until the introduction of Group C in 1982. The Kramer Racing team, unsatisfied with the speed of Porsche’s development, set upon developing its own evolution models, known as K2, K3 and K4.
The ’79 Le Mans winner was K3 spec, trouncing the competition in wet conditions. In its final form in 1981 and ‘82, the K4 was capable of pushing out a around 800bhp, thanks to a 3.1-litre version of the turbocharged flat-six engine.