Martini! 935 Turbo, 1976 Winner Le Mans 24 Hours!!!

By admin, October 20, 2015 20:02

Stommelen Martini Porsche 935

In 1976, Stommelen returned to Porsche, driving the factory 936 to victory at Enna-Pergusa in Italy alongside Jochen Mass. Also driving the Martini 935 through the year, Rolf won at Watkins Glen, setting fastest race lap ahead of Ickx and Mass in identical machinery. The Stommelen/Schurti 935 finished an excellent fourth overall at Le Mans.

Le Mans is a race of attrition. Only the strongest survive. Porsche, however, seems to have what it takes: they are peerless when it comes to building a car that can take a beating at Le Mans and still cover more ground in 24 hours than any of the competition. In 1976, Porsche would win every category it contested: overall (Group 6), Group 5, IMSA GT and Grand Touring.

The pristine condition of the Martini-liveried 40 during the races early laps was not to last: Porsche’s new 935 would be dealt some trying setbacks.

First an alternator belt went, then the rear wing became battered requiring lengthy attention, and a rear suspension pick up point broke. Once these problems were solved Rolf Stommelen and Manfred Schurti set off in pursuit of the Lola ahead. Around midnight, the Porsche crew changed a turbo in just 10 minutes!

By dawn, Stommelen and Schurti had the Group 5 Porsche in fifth position before fuel pump trouble slowed the pair once more. Persistence by all involved soon saw the beautiful 40 move up to fourth place overall, and into the Group 5 lead. It seemed nothing more could go wrong… but a tire puncture resulted in extensive damage to the left rear quarter and a lengthy pit stop for refabrication.

In the end, a valiant effort saw Stommelen and Manfred Schurti power their way around the Sarthian circuit in this powerful but incredibly thirsty machine for the full 24 hours. Consuming 60 litres of fuel for every 100 Kms it covered, the car won its class, and came fourth overall in a race won by its ‘big brother’, the Porsche 936.

Wrong position of the fuel refill tank…ops..(revision coming up shortly)