My Car Quest

September 26, 2020

This Porsche Made Racing History

by Mike – 

This 1979 Porsche 935 K3 was built and raced by Kremer Racing of Cologne, Germany. It is special because it won the 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans outright.

1979 Porsche 935 K3

1979 Porsche 935 K3

It was the overall winner beating the faster pure sports car racing prototypes. Not just winning but winning in heavy rain by eight laps!

This Porsche 935 Turbo is based on the production 911 and is the only production based car to be the overall winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 1952!

Porsche 935 K3

The drivers were Klaus Ludwig, Don Whittington and Bill Whittington. Second place was Dick Barbour Racing driving a Porsche 935/77A with drivers Rolf Stommelen, Paul Newman and Dick Barbour. Yet another Kremer Porsche 935 came in third.

Porsche 935 K3

Paul Newman was not the only celebrity racing that day. On the track, in addition to the many famous racing drivers were: Nick Mason (writer for a car magazine and oh yeah, drummer for Pink Floyd) came in 18th driving a Lola T297, David Hobbs (Speed Channel announcer and famous race car driver) came in 24th and 26th driving two Mirage M10s and Alain De Cadenet (television commentator and famous race car driver, team owner and constructor) came in 55th in a De Cadenet Lola T380.

That must have been a fun race. Just hanging out in the pits would have been a blast.

Porsche 935 K3

The Other Drivers That Day Recognize This View

This fantastic race car was at the Rodeo Drive Concours D’Elegance on June 17, 2012.

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  1. moltogatto says

    If you mean mass production it’s all ok, if you don’t the McLaren F1 is also elegible for the title of “production based car to be the overall winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 1952” 🙂

    I’d like to add something rather peculiar about this win, though 🙂 one of the Whittington brothers (sorry, cannot recall which one), according to some press reports, saved the day for the team when the car stopped out on the track, with turbo troubles. He resolved that peeing on the very hot turbine could speed up the un-jamming process that he, as a skilled engineer, was able to take care of 🙂 he did it, fixed the turbine and restarted! those were the days!

  2. I do not think the McLaren F1 would be a production based car like a Porsche 911, there were only a little more than 100 F1s made.

    Was Whittington’s solution to turbo troubles something taught in race car driving school?

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