A legend of Porsche and sports car racing, Jürgen Barth will be joining Club members for an exclusive virtual evening on Wednesday 20 January.
Under his father’s guidance, Jürgen joined Porsche in 1963 as an apprentice mechanic, gaining an engineering diploma. While best known for his successes at Le Mans and the Nürburgring, Barth’s debut into the world of motorsport was behind the wheel of a rally prepared 356 in 1968. The skills he learnt from rallying, notably vehicle preservation, would place him in good stead for the transition to endurance racing.
In total Barth made thirteen Le Mans 24 hour appearances, all with Porsches, a record unsurpassed by any other driver with a single make. His debut in 1971 saw him finish in 8th place, returning a year later to claim a class victory in a 911 S, with his greatest accomplishment coming several years later with an overall victory in 1977.
Barth shared a Martini Porsche 936 with Hurley Haywood and Jacky Ickx, but Barth himself was no works driver. Instead, as team manager his build up to the big day involved organising everyone’s accommodation, catering and guest passes to keep the sponsors happy. It was not an easy victory, with the 936 requiring a fuel pump change early on in the race and, after clawing their way back from 41st place, the engine seized up with just two laps to go. But drawing back to his early days of rallying, Barth was able to coax the car to the finish line firing on just five cyclinders.
Throughout his time with Porsche, Barth remained intrinsically involved with the development of Porsche’s motorsport campaigns and their customer racing programme. His encyclopaedic knowledge of the cars he contested made him a valuable asset to the developing Porsche archive.
An honorary Porsche Club member, Barth has made several appearances at Club events and we look forward to hearing his Porsche journey in full from the man himself.
Club members who registered for an event reminder will be sent one on the afternoon of the presentation.