In addition to the Manufacturers World Championship for production race cars (Group 5, Porsche 935), in 1976 Porsche took part in the World Championship for sports cars (Group 6).
In record time, Weissach developed a new racing sports car of the 936 type. Technically, the engineers utilised the proven 908/03 and 917/10 designs in the development of the open Spyder. The result was an aluminium space frame which was covered by a plastic body.
Powering the 936 was the 2.1-litre six-cylinder boxer turbo engine with an output of around 520 hp, previously planted in the 911 Carrera RSR Turbo 2.1.
The first race-worthy Porsche 936, called the ‘black widow’ within Porsche because of its matte black body, conducted tests in the second half of February on the southern French race course in Le Castellet. Participation in the Le Mans 24 Hours was rewarded in June 1976 with a convincing overall victory to Jacky Ickx and Gijs van Lennep.
In 1977, Porsche returned to Le Mans with the 936/77. Its body was smaller, lower, shorter and further refined aerodynamically. The engine now featured two turbochargers and delivered 20 more horsepower.
At one of the most dramatic races in history, Jacky Ickx, Jürgen Barth and Hurley Haywood slayed the armada of four Renault works cars and two factory-supported “Mirage” with Renault motors. In the year 1981, the 936 celebrated a sensational comeback with another overall Le Mans victory.