The 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 47th Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on 9 and 10 June 1979.
The Porsche 935 turbo, a highly modified variant of the Porsche 911 road car, dominated endurance racing in the late 1970s, being entered by many Porsche customer teams all over the world. The German-based Kremer team won the 24 Hours of Le Mans using a modified version of the 935 which was driven by Klaus Ludwig, Don Whittington and Bill Whittington. Actor Paul Newman, driving with Rolf Stommelen and Dick Barbour, finished second in Barbour’s 935, while Kremer’s second 935 driven by Laurent Ferrier, François Servanin and François Trisconi placed third.
The unusual occupation of the top four spots by Group 5 and GT cars arose from a Sports Prototype field severely depleted of competitive entries and the failures of the two most capable entries in that class to finish. The remainder of the 2+ litre Sports Prototypes were powered by the slower and less reliable Cosworth DFV V-8s. The distance covered by the S +2.0 class winner, 3798.8 km, was the least covered by any winner of that class since 1953.
Jacky Ickx’s efforts to win his fifth Le Mans came to nothing when he was disqualified for receiving outside assistance in repairing his stricken Porsche 936.
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