Sports Prototype and GT Racing 1978 to 1981

In the late seventies, the prototype scene was becoming full of old cars and indifferent manufacturers. Fans were sick of seeing one make completely dominate, and longed for the wheel-to-wheel competition of the smaller GT races. The European economy was in a rut due to lingering effects of the oil crisis, and the Cold war was still going strong. The 'golden' era of expensive factory efforts and well-financed privateers had definitely come to a close.

Le Mans remained the only event of any real singifigance for works prototypes. The Renault-Alpine A442, Porsche 936, and the Rondeau cars were the regulars of this era. Renault finally won Le Mans in 1978 with its turbo engine, and promptly quit racing prototypes. They then went on to pioneer the use of turbos in F1 cars.

At Le Mans In 1979, a privateer 'Group 5' Porsche upset the prototypes by taking the overall win. In a rare occurrence, the works Porsche 936 cars did not finish the race.

Group 5 'Sihlouettes'

However, as the protoype racing scene was dying out, the GT classes were thriving. With the World Championship for Makes being a GT only format, there was excellent competition. The top class of these races was designated as 'Group 5', which were essentially production-shaped tubeframe racers. These were not unlike the modern NASCAR or Trans-Am machines. These cars made the top levels of road racing fairly cost efficient for most teams, and grids were full of talented drivers. In Germany, there was the DRM series for these cars. There were essentially three makes in the series: BMW, Porsche, and Ford. They used off-the-shelf turbo engines so performance was quite impressive.

One subtle fact that people often do not realize is that the DRM 'Group 5' classes had subclasses based on engine displacement. The most famous of the under 2.0 litre class being the BMW 320i.

In North America, IMSA was in its 'GTX' period for these production-based turbos. The only problem was that Porsche 934's tended to dominate the grid.

Group 5 was a class for highly modified "production" cars that were homologated in groups 1-4. This sihlouette formula meant that you could take a production vehicle and change all but the basic engine layout, body dimensions, and general shape. Porsche made the 930-based 935 turbo for this class, which also went on to be the privateer workhorse for the IMSA GTX class. For Le Mans, they made the 936 prototype, which dominated the year by winning at La Sarthe and 4 of 6 other championship rounds. Interestingly, old Group 7 Can-Am spec cars were allowed to run in the Mosport round. This allowed "worlds to collide" as an AVS Shadow MkII raced against an Alpine-Renault A442.

World Championship for Makes 1976 (Group 5)

Place

Car
Sponsor

Car # Class

Model

Ref. #

Image

6 Hours Mugello
1Porsche 935
'Martini'
Jochen Mass
Jacky Ickx
(Debut race and win for the 935)
4
Gr. 5
Ebbro
43770
1000 km Nürburgring (GT Classes Only)
1BMW CSL 3.5
'Gosser Beer'
Dieter Quester
Albrecht Krebs
7
Gr. 5 +3.0
Spark
SG022
Ixo
GTM096
DNFPorsche 935
'Martini'
Rolf Stommelen
Manfred Schurti
1
Minichamps
400 766301
Watkins Glen 6 Hours (GT Classes Only)
1Porsche 935
'Martini'
Rolf Stommelen
Manfred Schurti
4
Minichamps
400 766304
Ebbro
43769
Six Hours Dijon (GT Classes Only)
1Porsche 935
'Martini'
Jacky Ickx
Jochen Mass
1
Gr. 5
Minichamps
Porsche Dealer Martini History Set
WAP 020 SET 13
Giro d'Italia
1Lancia Stratos (Group 5)
(Marlboro)
Carlo Facetti
Piero Sodano
(Model is a non-tobacco adaptation)
598
Gr. 5
Kyosho
KYO03141D
DNFLancia Stratos (Group 5)
(Marlboro)
Raffaele Pinto
Arnaldo Bernacchini
(Model is a non-tobacco adaptation)
599
Gr. 5
Kyosho
KYO03141F

Porsche 935/77 vs. Porsche 935/77A...

Porsche created a customer version based on the works 1976 cars called the "935/77A". These cars dominated the German DRM series, and epitomize the late-1970's racing scene. They should not be confused with the cars that the factory raced at Le Mans that were called the "935/77".

World Champiohip for Makes 1977

Place

Car
Sponsor

Car # Class

Model

Ref. #

Image

Nurburgring 1000km
5Porsche 934/5
Dieter Schornstein
Götz von Tschirnhaus
6
Gr. 5 +3.0
Spark
(Germany Special Edition)
SG071
6Porsche 935
Manfred Schurti
Helmut Kelleners
7
Gr. 5 +3.0
True Scale
TSM164347
30Volkswagen Golf (Mk1)
Bernd Renniesen
Wolfgang Wolf
63
Gr. 2
Spark
(Germany Special Edition)
SG031

Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft 1977

Place

Car
Sponsor

Car # Class

Model

Ref. #

Image

Full Season
Division I (Over 2000cc)
Porsche 935/77A 'Jagermeister'
Manfred Schurti
52
Div. I
Top Model
('Gold')
006
Toyota Celica Turbo 'Rodenstock'
Harald Ertl
60
Div. I
Ebbro
43259
Division II (Under 2000cc)
BMW 320i 'Warsteiner'
Jörg Obermoser
4
Div. II
Minichamps
400 772305
BMW 320i 'Warsteiner'
Jörg Obermoser
5
Div. II
Quartzo
3024
BMW 320i 'Fruit of the Loom'
Peter Schneeberger
8
Div. II
Minichamps
400 772308
BMW 320i 'BMW Junior Team'
Marc Surer
12
Div. II
Quartzo
3020
BMW 320i 'Jagermeister'
Hans Stuck
14
Div. II
Quartzo
3021
BMW 320i 'Jagermeister'
Hans Stuck
15
Div. II
Minichamps
400 772315
BMW 320i 'HAT'
Ronnie Peterson
21
Div. II
Minichamps
400 772321
Zolder
1Porsche 935/77A
'Jagermeister'
Manfred Schurti
52
Div. I
Minichamps
400 776352
2Porsche 935/77A
Bob Wollek
51
Div. I
Minichamps
400 776351
Hockenheim
1Porsche 935/77 2.0 ("Baby") 'Martini'
Jacky Ickx
40
Div. II
Ebbro
44358

1978

Prototypes were completely separated from the GT cars and had their own European Sportscar Championship for the year 1978. This should not be confused with the series of the same name for 2.0 litre prototypes that lasted from 1970 to 1975. These were European privateer 'Group 6' cars that typically were built for Le Mans. There were also some 2.0 litre prototypes that stayed on for good measure.

World Championship for Makes 1978

Place

Car
Sponsor

Car # Class

Model

Ref. #

Image

Daytona 24 Hours (Run jointly with the IMSA series)
Six Hours Dijon
1Porsche 935/77A
Bob Wollek
Henri Pescarolo
2
Gr. 5
Spark
SF132
7BMW 320i
'Buler'
Marc Surer
Freddy Kottulinsky
24
Gr. 5
Quartzo
('3000 Series')
3036

Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft 1978

Place

Car
Sponsor

Car # Class

Model

Ref. #

Image

Zolder
3BMW 320i
'Goesser Beer'
Harald Grohs
(Error: Box Reads "Spa 1978"; Driven by Grohs, but Quester & Walkinshaw are on door.)
59
Div. II
Quartzo
('3000 Series')
3025
10BMW 320i
'Carling Black Label'
Patrick Neve
(Error: Box Reads "Spa 1977"; Driven by Neve, but Joosen & Grohs are also on roof)
58
Div. II
Quartzo
('3000 Series')
3022
Nürburgring
1Porsche 935/77A 'Vaillant'
Bob Wollek
2
Div. I
Solido
('Solido 2' Kit)
1709
Norisring
DNFPorsche 935/78 'Martini'
Jacky Ickx
40
Div. I
Minichamps
430 786740
Full-Season Entries
Division II (Under 2000cc)
 BMW 320i 'Wurth'
Manfred Winkelhock
50
Quartzo
('3000 Series')
3035
 Ford Capri turbo 'Mampe'
Hans Heyer
52
Quartzo
Classic Sports Racing
3028
 BMW 320i 'Fruit of the Loom'
Markus Höttinger
57
Quartzo
('3000 Series')
3023

1979

The 1979 DRM championship was won by Klaus Ludwig in a Porsche Kremer sposored by "Mambo" cologne. It is the preferred fragrance of Ronnie Mund, a.k.a "Ronnie the limo driver"...

Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft 1979

Place

Car
Sponsor

Car # Class

Model

Ref. #

Image

Division I (2000cc - 4000cc)
 Porsche Kremer K3 'Mambo'
Klaus Ludwig
54
Quartzo
('3000 Series')
3033
 Porsche Kremer K3 'Erzquell Pils'
Axel Plankenhorn
55
Quartzo
('3000 Series')
3034
Division II (Under 2000cc)
1Ford Capri turbo 'Sachs'
Harald Ertl
1
Minichamps
430 798501
   Quartzo
3027

In 1979 the prototypes were allowed back into select events on the World Championship schedule, but were not eligible to score points. By then, the series was mostly leftover European races. There were some North American rounds, notably the Daytona 24H, being run jointly with IMSA.

World Championship for Makes 1979

Place

Car
Sponsor

Car # Class

Model

Ref. #

Image

Silverstone 6 Hours
DNFLancia Beta Montecarlo
Riccardo Patrese
Walter Röhrl
51
Gr. 5
Best
9168
DNFPorsche 936
Brian Redman
Jochen Mass
1
S +2.0
Trofeu
1209
1000 km Nürburgring
DNFPorsche 908/3 Turbo
Rolf Stommelen
Reinhold Jöst
101
S +2.0
Best
9467
DNFLotus Europa Turbo
Harald Ertl
Hans Heyer
22
Gr. 5
Spark
(Germany Special Edition)
SG024
Pergusa
2Lancia Beta Montecarlo
Riccardo Patrese
Carlo Facetti
11
Gr. 5
Best
9171
Giro d'Italia (Non-Championship)
1Porsche 935/79
'Momo'
Gianpiero Moretti
Giorgio Schön
Emilio Radaelli
592
Gr. 5
Spark
SI002

1980

World Championship for Makes 1980

Place

Car
Sponsor

Car # Class

Model

Ref. #

Image

Daytona
1Porsche 935 J
Reinhold Jöst
Rolf Stommelen
Volkert Merl
2
GTX
Spark
S43DA80
10Lancia Beta Montecarlo
Carlo Facetti
Martino Finotto
4
GTX
Best
9164
DNFFerrari 512 BB LM
Preston Henn
Pierre Dieudonné
69
GTX
Best
DNFPorsche 935/79
Ralph Kent-Cooke
Gérard Bleynie
Claude Ballot-Léna
55
GTX
TrueScale
TSM114311
DNFPorsche 935 K3
Bob Akin
Roy Woods
Bobby Rahal
05
GTX
TrueScale
TSM10431
Mugello
1Lancia Beta Montecarlo
Riccardo Patrese
Eddie Cheever
33
Gr. 5
Best
9501
2Lancia Beta Montecarlo
Michele Alboreto
Walter Röhrl
2
Gr. 5
Best
9481
Monza
DNFFerrari 512 BB LM
Spartaco Dini
Fabrizio Violati
31
S +2.0
Best
9279
Silverstone
7Ferrari 512 BB LM
Steve O'Rourke
Chris Craft
Vic Norman
11
IMSA GTX
Best
9395
Porsche 935 K3
'Gillette Contour'

19
Spark
('Kremer Racing')
1000 km Nürburgring
1Porsche 908/03 Turbo ('908/4')
'Liqui Moly'
Rolf Stommelen
Jürgen Barth
31
S +2.0
Best
9348
3BMW M1
'Ja Zum Nurburgring'
Hans-Joachim Stuck
Nelson Piquet
201
GTX
Minichamps
430 802501
Watkins Glen
1Lancia Beta Montecarlo
Hans Heyer
Riccardo Patrese
31
Gr. 5
Best
9208

Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft 1980

Place

Car
Sponsor

Car # Class

Model

Ref. #

Image

Division I (2000cc - 4000cc)
 Ford Capri Turbo 'Wurth'
Klaus Ludwig
1
Minichamps
Classic Sports Racing
430 808501
 Porsche Kremer K3 'Jagermeister'
John Fitzpatrick
2
Quartzo
('3000 Series')
3019
 Porsche Kremer K3 'Pepsi'
Claude Bourgoignie
16
Quartzo
('3000 Series')
3032
Division II (Under 2000cc)
 Lancia Beta Montecarlo 'Fruit of the Loom'
Hans Hayer
51
Best
9197

1981

1981 was a transitional year before the major reorganization to Group C. The name of the Championship was changed to World Championship of Drivers and Makes. All of the North American Rounds were run jointly with IMSA.

The Joest Porsche 935/81 was a factory authorized copy of the famous "Moby Dick" works car. This model was released by Minichamps in 2000 during their distributor "blackout" period, so very few ever made it to US vendors. They appear occasionally on German eBay, but are quite difficult to find. Because it has an unremarkable history and color scheme, I gave up trying to get one.

Joest eventually sold the car to Gianpiero Moretti who ran it in IMSA. There it had the famous red-and-yellow MOMO colors and sponsorship by Penthouse magazine. Now that would make for a collectable model.

World Championship of Drivers and Makes 1981

Place

Car
Sponsor

Car # Class

Model

Ref. #

Image

Daytona 24 Hours (Part of the World Championship of Drivers)
18Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo
'Martini'
Riccardo Patrese
Michele Alboreto
Hans Heyer
3
GTX
Best
9249
Mugello 6 Hours (Part of the World Championship of Drivers)
9Ferrari 512 BB/LM
Giovanni Del Buono
Odoardo Govoni
29
GTX
Best
9613
Silverstone 6 Hours (Part of the World Championship of Makes and World Championship of Drivers)
1Porsche 935J
Walter Röhrl
Harald Grohs
Dieter Schornstein
(Porsche chassis with bodywork developed by Team Joest)
22
Gr. 5
Spark
(Porsche Museum Edition)
MAP 020 205 13
7Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo
Beppe Gabbiani
Giorgio Schön
Giorgio Pianta
62
Gr. 5
Best
9542
DNFLancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo
Riccardo Patrese
Eddie Cheever
28
Gr. 5
Best
9241
DNFFerrari 308 GTB Turbo
Martino Finotto
Carlo Facetti
18
Gr. 5
Fabbri
(Ferrari Racing Collection)
Issue #44
DNFFerrari 512 BB/LM
Richard Bond
Bobby Bell
Steve Griswold
42
GTX
Best
9336
1000 km Nürburgring (Part of the World Championship of Makes and World Championship of Drivers)
1BMW M1 Turbo
'BASF'
Hans-Joachim Stuck
Nelson Piquet
1
Gr. 5
Spark
SG021
2Porsche 908/80
'LUI/Immo Klein'
Jochen Mass
Vern Schuppan
Hurley Haywood
1
S +2.0
Minichamps
430 816701
Solido
('Record' Series)
10861
3Porsche 935/K3
Bob Wollek
27
GTX +2.0
Spark
SG113
4Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo
Piercarlo Ghinzani
Hans Heyer
17
Gr. 5
Best
9234
10Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo
'Martini'
Henri Pescarolo
Andrea de Cesaris
31
Gr. 5
Best
9230
38Porsche 908/3 Turbo ('908/4')
Siegfried Brunn
Herbert Müller
(Müller Fatal Accident on lap 17; Race was stopped and not continued)
3
S +2.0
Best
9346
Watkins Glen (Part of the World Championship of Makes and World Championship of Drivers)
1Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo
'Martini'
Riccardo Patrese
Michele Alboreto
1
Gr. 5
Best
9623
Brands Hatch (Part of the World Championship of Makes and World Championship of Drivers)
DNFPorsche 917K/81
Bob Wollek
Henri Pescarolo
2
S +2.0
Spark
(France Special Edition)
SF023
Kyalami (Non-Championship)
2Porsche 908/03 Turbo ('908/4')
Jürgen Barth
Siegfried Brunn
Jean-Michel Martin
2
Gr. 6
Best
9406

Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft 1981

Place

Car
Sponsor

Car # Class

Model

Ref. #

Image

Division I (2000cc - 4000cc)
55Ford Capri turbo 'Nigrin'
Manfred Winkelhock
55
Quartzo
Classic Sports Racing
3031
   Minichamps
Classic Sports Racing
430 818555
66Porsche 935/81 'Immo Klein'
Jochen Mass
66
Minichamps
Classic Sports Racing
430 816766
Division II (Under 2000cc)
4Ford Capri turbo 'Pentosin'
Jürgen Hamelmann
4
Quartzo
Classic Sports Racing
3026

1982

In 1982 the DRM series started a transition to a Group C format, but Group 5 and Group 6 cars were also allowed.

Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft 1982

Place

Car
Sponsor

Car # Class

Model

Ref. #

Image

1Ford Capri turbo 'Jaegermeister'
Klaus Ludwig
1
Group 5
Minichamps
430 828501