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  Porsche 935/2.0 'Baby'
 

  Article Image gallery (14) 935/2 - 001 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Germany
Produced in:1977
Numbers built:one-off
Internal name:930
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:March 27, 2008
Download: All images
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Click here to download printer friendly versionIn the quest to take an overall win at Le Mans, Porsche had moved far away from the principal that the company's racing cars should at least be related to the road cars. So after the 1970 and 1971 editions were won by the 917, it was no surprise that Porsche returned to their roots with a range of 911 based racers. The first of these were the Carrera RSR models based on the Naturally Aspirated 911. From the 1976 season these were replaced by a Group 4 and Group 5 racer derived from the recently introduced 911 Turbo or '930'. Especially the Group 5 car, dubbed the 935, had the priority of the Works team as that year's World Championship would be run for this type of racer.

Both the road going 930 and its racing derivatives found their roots in the experimental RSR based Turbos that were extensively raced in the three litre prototype class in the previous years. Taking in account the 1.4 Turbo equivalency factor, it used a 2.1 litre six cylinder engine, which would be enlarged to three litres for the road car. The 934 Group 4 car was very similar to the street spec 911 Turbo and only raced by privateers and was nevertheless very successful in its class. The Group 5 homologation allowed for many more modifications with a minimum weight based on displacement as its most important rule.

In order to fit in the 'under the four litre' and '970 kg' group, the 935's engine could displace no more than 2857 cc. By using a slightly smaller bore of 92 mm, a displacement of just over 2.8 litre engine was created. A very large KKK Turbocharger was hung behind the engine, mated to an intercooler. In this specification the Turbocharged engine was good for 590 - 630 bhp depending on tune. The four speed gearbox was derived from the Turbo road car and it was an altogether more sturdy 'box than the one that had proven to be the RSR Turbo's weak spot.

What really set Group 4 and Group 5 apart was the amount of work allowed on the chassis and body. The suspension was uprated with coil springs instead of torsion bars, adjustable anti-roll bars, and vented and cross-drilled discs were fitted all around. Outwardly the first incarnation of the 935 was very similar to the RSR Turbo with the basic 911 nose, extremely flared wheel-arches and a massive rear wing. After extensive testing, the original nose with the headlights poking out was found to create drag. It was controversially replaced by a flat nose with the lights moved into the bumpers.

Two cars were ready in time for the season opening races at Mugello and Vallelunga and with back to back wins the 935 looked set to become an instant success. It all changed dramatically when the sport's governing body asked whether the original 930 engine cover would still fit as required by the rules. The big intercooler prevented this and until a solution was found, the 935 was not allowed to race. A quick fix was the installation of the intercoolers fitted on the 934, but it took several races before that setup was made reliable. In the mean time BMW had been reeling in victories, but fortunately for Porsche, the revised 935s were ready in time to claim enough points to clinch the World Championship.

While assembling the first customer 935s late in 1976, Porsche was already busy developing the Works car for 1977 to defend the title. There were many detail changes to the running gear, suspension and aerodynamics, but what really set the 935/77 apart from its predecessor was the engine. Replacing the single large Turbocharger were two smaller KKK units. These were used in the hopes of reducing Turbo lag and also saw performance increase to 630 bhp and 680 bhp at the end of the season. With the bugs fully ironed there was very little the competition could do and the two-car Works team reigned supreme. One 935 was fielded at Le Mans, but was forced to retire fairly early on with a blown engine.

In the highly competitive and prestigious German championship, there were seperate Group 5 races for 'Division One' cars of under two litres and for 'Division Two' for over anything over that. BMW and Ford had highly entertaining fights in the Division One, whereas Porsche was the only serious contender in the second division. It got even worse for Porsche when it was announced that only the two-litre race of the 1977 Norisring round would be aired on television. Mainly to prove a point and get some additional air-time, Porsche Motorsport supremo Ernst Fuhrmann ordered his department to build a 935 derivative that would fit in the two-litre class with less than two months to go before the Norisring race.

Taking in account the 1.4 equivalency factor, the six cylinder engine could displace no more than 1425 cc and for the 935/2.0 or 'Baby', Porsche's engineers brought the displacement down to exactly that. Unlike the 935/77s, the 'Baby' sported just one Turbocharger, but nevertheless produced a staggering 380 bhp. Amazingly they also managed to bring the weight down to below the minimum weight of 750 kg from the 880 kg that the unbalasted 935 weighed in at. Completed at the very last minute, there was just time enough to shake the car down once at Weissach, before it would make its racing debut.

The poor preparation was reflected in practice where poor engine response and very long gearing greatly hampered the performance. Jackie Ickx managed to no better than thirteenth, but in the race he quickly fought his way up to sixth. He then had to retire as poor insulation had heated the cockpit up too much for him to continue. For the next round, the Grand Prix support race at Hockenheim, all these bugs were ironed out and Ickx scored a convincing victory. Porsche had proven that they could take on the best in any class and the Porsche 935/2.0 'Baby' was never raced again.

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  Article Image gallery (14) 935/2 - 001 Specifications