24h Le Mans
The Porsche 935 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans as seen by Jean-Marc Teissèdre
In this series, author of the official Le Mans 24 Hours annual Jean-Marc Teiss
The Porsche 935 first appeared in 1976, the same year as French magazine Autohebdo, for which Jean-Marc Teissèdre is still the endurance racing specialist today. In 1979, he was an eminent connoisseur of the 935 and a privileged witness of its victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Jean-Marc Teissèdre: “When I joined Autohebdo, I went to cover the DRM series in Germany which was dominated in the latter part of the seventies by the Porsche 935. When it won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, it turned out that I was one of just a handful of French journalists who knew the members of the Kremer team. I loved the turbocharged Porsche engines with their rear exhaust which made a wonderful noise on changing gear. It’s true to say that the 935’s turbo engine was very brutal and some of the drivers coped better with it than others, such as Frenchman Bob Wollek (1943-2001), who had become a friend. I also really liked the German Manfred Schurti, another 935 specialist who was very reserved, but an extremely efficient driver. In my opinion, he deserved to win a lot more than he actually did, although Porsche did acknowledge his skills by making him a factory driver.”
The 24 Hours of Le Mans 1979 were a real triumph for the Porsche 935 as it scooped the top three positions. Gentleman driver and actor Paul Newman (1925-2008) took the runner-up spot in his only race at Le Mans.
Jean-Philippe Doret / ACO - Translated from French by David Goward
Photo: D.R. - ACO Archives
Photo: LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), CIRCUIT DES 24 HEURES, 24 HOURS OF LE MANS, 9–10 JUNE 1979, RACE. The K3, a special version of the 935 developed by eminent Porsche specialists Manfred and Erwin Kremer, won the 1979 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with German Klaus Ludwig sharing the wheel with American brothers Don and Bill Whittington.