K8 Spyder - History
Kremer Porsche K8 Spyder - History
Kremer Porsche K8 Spyder - 24 Hours of Mans, 1995 - 1998
The final point and climax of a wide range of extremely successful sports cars built and raced by Kremer Racing, Cologne, founded in 1964. In its era, Kremer was the best private Porsche racing team in the world.
Porsche Kremer Racing - 2 brothers (Erwin and Manfred Kremer) and a friend, (Hermann Bürvenich) plus a small group of mechanics; all fanatical about Porsche and motor sport: together they wrote racing history.
For 30 years in a row, without interruption, Kremer entered the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Kremer is on the winner's list of every major classic endurance event, including Spa (1968), Le Mans (1979) and finally, in 1995, the 24 Hours of Daytona, where they ran their newly developed K8 Spyder.
Victory at Le Mans 1979 was achieved with a Kremer Porsche, which the team had built, based on Porsche's customer 935 - not a modification, but a spectacular own development! This was the K3, an extraordinary successful race car. The Cologne team built a further 13 units of this model the following year, as well an uncounted number of conversion kits.
15 years later emerged the WSC Gulf Porsche 962 Spyder, prototype for the K8 series (although the Gulf is nowadays now counted into the total number of all four K8's ever built). The Gulf K8 was a sensation when introduced at the occasion of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 1994. Not only because this car was the first representative of a new generation of open, 2-seater spyder sports-racing prototypes, but because of its immediate success: although the car had at this time minimum development, Derek Bell, Robin Donovan and Jürgen Lässig qualified 2nd overall. Starting from the front row in the car's very first race, 24 hours later they came home a strong 6th place in the overall standings.
January 1995, the first real Kremer Porsche K 8 did even better: despite a series of rules modifications implemented throughout the last days ahead of the race, Christophe Bouchut, Jürgen Lässig, Giovanni Lavaggi and Marco Werner won the Daytona 24 Hours outright.
This was the breakthrough. The next 2 cars, now based on carbon composite tubs, went this same year (as well as the following 3 years) to Le Mans, where Hans "Strietzel" Stuck, Thierry Boutsen and Christophe Bouchut finished the 1995 Le Mans 24 Hours 6th overall at the wheel of the K8-02.
Nevertheless, the time of turbocharged engines was fading. But the layout of the Kremer K8 had been trend setting. Over the following years, nearly every car leading the pack in endurance racing was an open spyder. In one of his last interviews, Erwin Kremer expressed great regret that the subsequent model, the Kremer Porsche K9, could no longer be finished. Sporting politics and rules changes had already made the car obsolete. But the team remained proud to have been both the first privateers to have entered a Porsche 956 (Le Mans 1983) and as well the last one. Writing another page in the history book, in 1998 the Kremer Porsche K8 raced for the last time at Le Mans; 2nd place for K8-02 in the Sports Prototypes category was a final reward for this effort.