1979 24 Hours of Le Mans

 

The 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 47th Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on 9 and 10 June 1979. With no other major works cars this year, the Porsche team were the strong favourites to win. Their competition would be from Cosworth-powered Mirages and Rondeaus and a swarm of Group 5 and IMSA-class Porsche 935s. The other big talking point was the presence of Hollywood actor Paul Newman, driving for Dick Barbour Racing.

However, the Porsche 936s ran into problems early, as did the Mirages that inherited the lead. The race became a duel between the 935s of the rival teams from Cologne: Kremer Racing and Gelo Sportswear. Soon after midnight, heavy storms started sweeping the circuit. The rain stayed for virtually the rest of the race, dramatically slowing the pace, negating the speed of the 936s coming back through the field. Both Gelo cars retired with mechanical issues in the soggy dawn, and when the Wollek/Haywood Porsche developed a bad misfire soon after it looked like the Kremer 935 of Klaus Ludwig and the Whittington brothers had the race covered. They had a 13-lap lead over the Dick Barbour Porsche.

Then approaching 11am Don Whittington came to a stop on the Mulsanne Straight with a broken drivebelt. It took 80 minutes to get back to the pits, and by the time they got back into the race the lead down to four laps. But the charging American team were foiled by a faulty wheel-nut taking 23 minutes to fix. Then in the last hour, the car slowed with a bad misfire. Stommelen pulled up just before the finish line and waited for the Kremer car to take the flag in victory. The Kremer brothers' finest hour was sealed with their other team-car coming home in third.

Porsche finished 1-2-3-4, and the Kremer 935-K3 was the first Le Mans win by a rear-engined car. The torrential rain in the second half of the race made it the slowest Le Mans since 1958.

In April 1978, the sports regulatory body, the CSI, was overhauled and replaced by the new international racing organisation FISA. The World Championship for Makes was revised to include both Group 5 and Group 6 racecars again, split into two categories: over and under 2-litres. FISA President, Jean-Marie Balestre was committed to bringing Le Mans back into the World Championship, but for now the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) chose to remain independent.

A change to the circuit was forced upon the ACO this year. Construction of the city's ring-road system meant the second Dunlop Bridge at the Tertre Rouge corner had to be demolished. The right-hand corner that led onto the Hunaudières straight was eased into a faster double-apex corner, shortening the overall circuit length by 14 metres (46 feet) to 13.63 km. The only other change was to move the start-time forward two hours, to 2pm, to allow the spectators more time to vote on Sunday in the European parliament elections.

Where we have not had a model of the car through the business as raced I've added another example of the car as an illustration (where I have one)

Pos Car No. Team Drivers Chassis Engine Laps Reason
1 Porsche 935 41  Porsche Kremer Racing  Klaus Ludwig
 Don Whittington
 Bill Whittington
Porsche 935-K3 Porsche 930/79 3.0L F6
twin-turbo
306 N/A
2 Porsche 935 70  Dick Barbour Racing  Dick Barbour
 Rolf Stommelen
 Paul Newman
Porsche 935/77A Porsche 930/80 3.0L F6
twin-turbo
299 N/A
3 Porsche 935 40  Porsche Kremer Racing

 
 Laurent Ferrier
 François Servanin
 François Trisconi
Porsche 935/77A

 
Porsche 930/72 3.0L F6 turbo

 
297

 
N/A
4 Porsche 935

(example)

82  Lubrifilm Racing Team  Herbert Müller
 Angelo Pallavicini
 Marco Vanoli
Porsche 934 Porsche 3.0L F6 turbo 296 N/A
5 Vitesse QLM019; Rondeau M379B; 1979 24h Le Mans 5th; Darniche & Ragnotti; RN5 5  J. Rondeau
(private entrant)
 Jean Ragnotti
 Bernard Darniche
Rondeau M379 Cosworth DFV 3.0 L V8 292 N/A
6 Solido; BMW M1 Coupe; 1980 24h Le Mans 15th; Stuck, Lacaud, Burger; RN84

(example)

76  H. Poulain
(private entrant)
 Hervé Poulain
 Manfred Winkelhock
 Marcel Mignot
BMW M1 BMW M88 3.5L S6 288 N/A
7 Porsche 935

(example)

42  Sekurit Racing
 Autohaus Max Moritz GmbH
 
 Edgar Dören
 Dieter Schornstein
 Götz von Tschirnhaus
Porsche 935/77A Porsche 3.0L F6 turbo 283 N/A
8 Porsche 935 72  Dick Barbour Racing  Bob Garretson
 Skeeter McKitterick
 Edwin Abate
Porsche 935/78 Porsche 3.0L F6 turbo 283 N/A
9 Porsche 935 73  Dick Barbour Racing
 Wynn's International
 
 Bob Kirby
 Bob Harmon
 John Hotchkis
Porsche 935/78 Porsche 930/73 3.0L F6 turbo 280 N/A
10 Vitesse QLM019; Rondeau M379B; 1979 24h Le Mans 5th; Darniche & Ragnotti; RN5

(example)

4  J. Rondeau
(private entrant)
 Henri Pescarolo
 Jean-Pierre Beltoise
Rondeau M379 Cosworth DFV 3.0L V8 279 N/A
11 Porsche 935

(example)

43  C. Haldi
(private entrant)
 Claude Haldi
 Herbert Loewe
 Rodrigo Terran
Porsche 935 Porsche 3.0L F6 turbo 275 N/A
12 BBR HE180021CH; Ferrari 512BB; 1979 Le Mans; Red

(example)

61  "Beurlys"
(private entrant)
 "Beurlys" (Jean Blaton)
 Nick Faure
 Steve O'Rourke
 Bernard de Dryver
Ferrari 512 BB-LM Ferrari 4.9 L F12 274 N/A
13 Porsche 935

(example)

45  Porsche Kremer Racing  Axel Plankenhorn
 Philippe Gurdjian
 "John Winter" (Louis Krages)
Porsche 935-K3 Porsche 930/79 3.0L F6
twin-turbo
273 N/A
14 Peugeot WM P76

(example)

52  WM AEREM  Jean-Daniel Raulet
 Marcel Mamers
WM P79 Peugeot PRV ZNS4 2.7L
V6 turbo
272 N/A
15 Porsche 935 39  ASA Cachia  Jacques Guérin
 "Chanaud" (Jacques Goujon)
 Fréderic Alliot
Porsche 935 Porsche 3.0L F6 turbo 268 N/A
16 Porsche 935

(example)

86  Kores Racing  Georges Bourdillat
 Roland Ennequin
 Alain-Michel Bernhard
Porsche 934 Porsche 3.0L F6 turbo 265 N/A
17 Still Looking 29  Mogil Motors Ltd  Tony Charnell
 Richard Jones
 Robin Smith
Chevron B36 Cosworth BDG 2.0L S4 265 N/A
18 Lola T296

(example)

24  Dorset Racing Associates  Brian Joscelyne
 Tony Birchenhough
 Richard Jenvey
 Nick Mason
Lola T297 Cosworth BDG 2.0L S4 260 N/A
19 Porsche 935 84  A.-C. Verney
(private entrant)
 Anne-Charlotte Verney
 Patrick Bardinon
 René Metge
Porsche 934 Porsche 3.0L F6 turbo 251 N/A
20 Lola T286 15  Fisons Agricole /
 Simon Phillips
(private entrant)
 Simon Phillips
 Martin Raymond
 Ray Mallock
De Cadenet LM76 Cosworth DFV 3.0L V8 250 N/A
21 Lola T296

(example)

20  Lambretta SAFD  Pierre Yver
 Max Cohen-Olivar
 Michel Elkoubi
Lola T298 BMW M12 2.0L S4 248 N/A
22 Still Looking 28  Société Racing
Organisation Course
 Bernard Verdier
 Albert Dufréne
 Noël del Bello
Chevron B36 Simca-ROC 2.0L S4 239 N/A
DNF Mirage 802 M10

(example)

11  Grand Touring Cars Inc
 Ford Concessionaires France
 Derek Bell
 David Hobbs
 Vern Schuppan
Mirage M10 Cosworth DFV 3.0L V8 262 Engine
(24hr)
DNF BBR HE180021CH; Ferrari 512BB; 1979 Le Mans; Red

(example)

62  Charles Pozzi / JMS Racing  Jean-Claude Andruet
 Spartaco Dini
Ferrari 512BB-LM Ferrari 4.9L F12 240 Engine
(21hr)
DNF Porsche 936 Le Mans

(example)

14  Essex Motorsport Porsche  Bob Wollek
 Hurley Haywood
Porsche 936-78 Porsche 935/73 2.1L F6
twin-turbo
236 Accident
(20hr)
DNF Ferrari 512BB 63  Charles Pozzi / JMS Racing  Michel Leclère
 Claude Ballot-Léna
 Peter Gregg
Ferrari 512BB-LM Ferrari 4.9L F12 219 Accident
(19hr)
 
DNF Vitesse QLM019; Rondeau M379B; 1979 24h Le Mans 5th; Darniche & Ragnotti; RN5

(example)

55  J. Rondeau
(private entrant)
 Jean Rondeau
 Jacky Haran
Rondeau M379 Cosworth DFV 3.0L V8 207 Engine
(19hr)
DNF Porsche 935

(example)

36  Gelo Sportswear
International
 Manfred Schurti
 Hans Heyer
Porsche 935/77A Porsche 3.0L F6 turbo 201 Engine
(16hr)
DSQ Porsche 936 Le Mans

(example)

12  Essex Motorsport Porsche  Jacky Ickx
 Brian Redman
Porsche 936-78 Porsche 935/73 2.1L F6
twin-turbo
200 Outside assistance
(18hr)
DNF Porsche 935

(example)

37  Gelo Sportswear
International
 John Fitzpatrick
 Harald Grohs
 Jean-Louis Lafosse
Porsche 935/77A Porsche 3.0L F6 turbo 196 Oil pipe
(16hr)
DNF Lola T296

(example)

25  J.-M. Lemerle
(private entrant)
 Jean-Marie Lemerle
 Alain Levié
 Jean-Pierre Malcher
Lola T298 Simca-ROC 2.0L S4 189 Engine
(21hr)
DNF Still Looking 33  Société Racing
Organisation Course
 André Chevalley Racing
 Marcel Tarres
 Alain Dechelette
 Charles Dechelette
Chevron B36 Simca-ROC 2.0L S4 187 Accident
(19hr)
DNF Lola T296

(example)

31  Kores Racing
 France Chauffage
 Michel Lateste
 Dominique Lacaud
Lola T297 BMW M12 2.0L S4 182 Clutch
(21hr)
DNF Porsche 935

(example)

87  C. Bussi
(private entrant)
 Christian Bussi
 Bernard Salam
Porsche 934 Porsche 3.0L F6 turbo 182 Accident damage
(18hr)
DNF Peugeot WM P76

(example)

51  WM AEREM  Roger Dorchy
 Denis Morin
WM P79 Peugeot PRV ZNS4 2.7L
V6 turbo
157 Accident
(16hr)
DNF Porsche 935

(example)

68  Interscope Racing  Ted Field
 Milt Minter
 John Morton
Porsche 935/79 Porsche 930/80 2.1L F6
twin-turbo
154

 
Engine
(13hr)
 
DNF De Cadenet Lola

(example)

3  JC Racing Ltd.
(private entrant)
 John Cooper
 Peter Lovett
 John Morrison
De Cadenet-Lola LM77 Cosworth DFV 3.0L V8 146 Electrics
(16hr)
DNF Lola T296

(example)

23  Team Pronuptia  Bruno Sotty
 Gérard Cuynet
 Marc Frischknecht
Lola T296 Cosworth BDG 2.0L S4 134 Accident
(16hr)
DSQ Still Looking 26  Société Racing
Organisation Course
 Michel Dubois
 Pierre-François Rousselot
 Marc Menant
Chevron B36 Simca-ROC 2.0L S4 133 Insufficient
distance
(14hr)
DNF Still Looking 32  H. Striebig / BP Racing
(private entrant)
 Hubert Striebig
 Alain Cudini
 Hughes Kirschoffer
ToJ SC206 BMW M12 2.0L S4 121 Fuel pump
(13hr)
DSQ Mirage 802 M10 10  Grand Touring Cars Inc
 Ford Concessionaires France
 Vern Schuppan
 Jean-Pierre Jaussaud
 David Hobbs
Mirage M10 Cosworth DFV 3.0L V8 121 Insufficient
distance
(13hr)
DSQ De Tomaso Pantera

(example)

35  C. Pietromarchi
(private entrant)
 Carlo Pietromarchi
 Gianfranco Brancatelli
 Maurizio Micangeli
De Tomaso Pantera Ford 351 5.8L V8 108 Insufficient
distance
(14hr)
DNF Still Looking 27  Société Racing
Organisation Course
 Marc Sourd
 Florian Vetsch
 Robert Carmillet
Chevron B36 Simca-ROC 2.0L S4 92 Accident
(8hr)
DNF Still Looking 17  Cheetah Racing Cars  Sandro Plastina
 Philippe Roux
 Mario Luini
Cheetah G-601 Simca-ROC 2.0L S4 87 Engine
(10hr)
DNF Peugeot WM P76

(example)

53  WM AEREM  Michel Pignard
 Jacques Coulon
 Serge Saulnier
WM P79 Peugeot PRV ZNS4 2.7L
V6 turbo
87 Front suspension
(10hr)
DNF Still Looking 18  D. Brillat
 Écurie Cedac Suisse
(private entrant)
 Daniel Brillat
 Jean-Pierre Aeschlimann
Cheetah G-601 BMW M12 2.0L S4 80 Engine
(9hr)
DNF Porsche 935

(example)

71  Dick Barbour Racing  Bob Akin
 Roy Woods
 Rob McFarlin
Porsche 935/77A Porsche 930/78 3.0L F6 turbo 78 Engine
(7hr)
DNF Porsche 935

(example)

22  G. Morand
(private entrant)
 J.-P. Jarier
 Eric Vaugnat
 Jacques Boillat
 Jean-Pierre Jarier
Lola T296

Porsche 935
Cosworth BDG 2.0L S4

Porsche 3.0L F6 turbo
76

65
Electrics
(12hr)
Engine
DNF Porsche 935

(example)

74  J.-P. Jarier
(private entrant)
 Jean-Pierre Jarier
 Randy Townsend
 Raymond Touroul
Porsche 935 Porsche 3.0L F6 turbo 63 Engine
(6hr)
DNF Lola T296

(example)

1  André Chevalley Racing
(private entrant)
 André Chevalley
 Xavier Lapeyre
 Patrick Perrier
Lola T286 Cosworth DFV 3.0L V8 59

 
Electrics
(11hr)
 
DNF BBR HE180021CH; Ferrari 512BB; 1979 Le Mans; Red

(example)

64  North American Racing Team  Jean-Pierre Delaunay
 Cyril Grandet
 Preston Henn
Ferrari 512BB-LM Ferrari 4.9L F12 54 Accident
(7hr)
DNF 1978 Dome Zero

(example)

6  Dome Co. Ltd  Chris Craft
 Gordon Spice
Dome Zero RL Cosworth DFV 3.0L V8 40 Out of fuel
(6hr)
DNF 1978 Dome Zero

(example)

7  Dome Co. Ltd  Bob Evans
 Tony Trimmer
Dome Zero RL Cosworth DFV 3.0L V8 25 Engine
(4hr)
DNF Aston Martin V8 50  R. Hamilton
(private entrant)
 Robin Hamilton
 Mike Salmon
Aston Martin DBS Turbo Aston Martin 5.3L V8 turbo 21 Oil leak
(4hr)
DNF De Cadenet Lola 8  A. de Cadenet
(private entrant)
 Alain de Cadenet
 François Migault
De Cadenet LM78 Cosworth DFV 3.0L V8 10 Gearbox
(4hr)
DNA Solido; BMW M1 Coupe; 1980 24h Le Mans 15th; Stuck, Lacaud, Burger; RN84

(example)

16  March Racing  Dieter Quester
 Guy Edwards
 Ian Grob
March-BMW M1 BMW M88 3.5L S6 0 Did not qualify
DNQ Lola T296

(example)

21  Lambretta SAFD  François Calmels
 Renaud Laverre
 Patrice Lenormand
Lola T296 Simca-ROC 2.0L S4 0 Did not qualify
DNQ Lola T296

(example)

30  ASA Cachia /
 F. Migault
(private entrant)
 Pascal Foix
 Michel Bienvault
 Murray Smith
Lola T296 Simca-ROC 2.0L S4 0 Did not practice
 
DNQ Mazda RX-7

(example)

77  Mazda Auto Tokyo  Yojiro Terada
 Tetsu Ikuzawa
 Claude Buchet
Mazda RX-7 Mazda 13B 1.3L twin-rotary 0 Did not qualify
DNQ Porsche 935

(example)

80  Écurie des 13 Etoiles
(private entrant)
 Antoine Salamin
 Gérard Vial
 Philippe Collet
Porsche 934 Porsche 3.0L F6 turbo 0 Did not qualify
DNA Lola T296

(example)

2  André Chevalley Racing
(private entrant)
 Patrick Perrier
 Marco Capoferri
 Renzo Zorzi
Lola T286 Cosworth DFV 3.0L V8 0 Did not arrive
DNA Solido; BMW M1 Coupe; 1980 24h Le Mans 15th; Stuck, Lacaud, Burger; RN84

(example)

54  Walter Brun Racing
Organisation
 Walter Brun
 Alain Cudini
BMW M1 BMW M88 3.5L S6 0 Did not arrive
DNA Chevrolet Corvette

(example)

60  P. Sauber AG /
 D. Rowe
(private entrant)
 Douglas Rowe
 Bill Adam
A.A. Lorent
Chevrolet Corvette Chevrolet 7.0L V8 0 Did not arrive
DNA BBR HE180021CH; Ferrari 512BB; 1979 Le Mans; Red

(example)

65  North American Racing Team   Ferrari 512 BB-LM Ferrari 4.9L F12 0 Did not arrive
DNA BBR HE180021CH; Ferrari 512BB; 1979 Le Mans; Red

(example)

66  SA Mo.Car SpA  Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 512 BB Ferrari 4.9L F12 0 Did not arrive
DNA Porsche 935

(example)

67  D. Whittington
(private entrant)
 Don Whittington
 Bill Whittington
Porsche 935/79 Porsche 930/79 3.3L F6
twin-turbo
0 Did not arrive
DNA Porsche 935

(example)

81  Autohaus Max Moritz GmbH  Edgar Dören
 Gerhard Holup
 Uwe Reich
 Eckhard Schimpf
Porsche 934 Porsche 3.0L F6 turbo 0 Did not arrive

 


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  Last Edit: 07/05/2022 Page Created 05/052022