Le Mans in 1980 was in kind of a transition. The Porsche 935 K3 had won the prior year. Kremer built on the success and sold quite a few customer cars, and kits to update older cars. Dick Barbour had bought a brand-new car to start the season, and was running for the IMSA championship with John Fitzpatrick as lead driver. The Porsche factory had stopped the 936 program, as these cars were getting very long in the tooth, and not really competitive any more, instead they focused on the 924 Turbo cars. Jean Rondeau, a Le Mans local, had built his own car which was a prototype powered by a Cosworth Ford Engine. The 3-litre Cosworth was a great engine, but had to be de-tuned quite a bit to run for 24 hours. With no 936s running, Reinhold Joest entered his 908-80. This was actually 936-004, but for political reasons it was known as the 908-80. There was the normal complement of other Porsche 935s, Ferrari BBLM and two-litre sports cars as well as several other prototypes from Dome, Alain De Cadenet and a few others.
Dick Barbour Racing entered three cars; chassis 000 00023 was brand new. It had just been picked up at Kremer’s in early June, and it had not yet turned a wheel in a race. Dick would drive this car (#70) with team leader John Fitzpatrick and Brian Redman and sponsored by SACHS. The second-place car from the 1979 race, 009 00030, had been converted to K3 specification with a Kremer kit. It was #71 and would be driven by Bob Garretson, Bobby Rahal, and Allan Moffat and was sponsored by Apple Computer (yes that Apple Computer). A third car was entered for Bob Kirby, Siggi Brun, and Mike Sherwin. This was #72 and was chassis 930 890 0024, our old 935-78. It was not a K3, and was running still in its factory configuration. Chassis 000 00009, our K3 from the start of the IMSA season, had just come from the Nürburgring 1000km where it won group 5 class, and finished second overall behind the Joest 908 turbo. It sat in the paddock as a spare parts car.
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