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  Porsche 935/79      

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Country of origin:Germany
Produced in:1979
Numbers built:7
Internal name:930
Predecessor:Porsche 935/77A
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:January 27, 2017
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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.

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  Article Image gallery (84) Chassis (4) Specifications