June 1, 2015
Porsche has a long history when it comes to racing, and it has a special relationship with the mother of all endurance races : the mythical Le Mans 24hours. From the early beginning of Porsche’s history, they competed in this race, asking the most of both car and drivers. After several class wins, in 1970 Porsche finally gained an overall victory in this epic race. Hans Herrmann, who was one of the drivers that took the first class win for Porsche at the La Sarthe race track together with Jean Behra in a Porsche 718 RSK, teamed up with Richard Attwood in a Porsche 917 for Ferdinand Piechs Porsche Salzburg Team. After a rain soaked 24hour race, they achieved the first in a long line of Porsche victories in the world most famous race the 1970 Le Mans 24hours.
Next to the drivers, and of course the team, a major role in such a demanding race always goes to the car : the Porsche 917K, 917-023 to be exact was powered by a 4.5litre flat 12 engine producing 520HP. Can you imagine a particular Porsche that deserves more to be called a “great car”?
Ian Wagstaff, automotive journalist and author since the early 70’s and contributor to many of the most important automotive magazines in the world tells the complete story of this particular chassis Porsche 917-023 in this book. It took Wagstaff years to reproduce the history of this car, that started it’s race career under the Porsche Salzburg Team flag to continue it in the Martini Racing Team. The car was driven 6 times by the famous Vic Elford, the only person who ever drove any particular type of the Porsche 917. Porsche 917-023 took part in no less than 7 world championship sports car races during 1970 and 1971.
The author tells us the story of how the car was prepared for the Le Mans winning race, and describes the races the car participated in ; from it’s first race at Brands Hatch up to it’s final race at the 1971 Daytona 24hours. The pilots from back then who were lucky enough to be seated in Porsche 917-023 (Hans Herrmann, Richard Attwood, Vic Elford, Kurt Ahrens, Denny Hulme, Gerard Larousse and Gijs Van Lennep) all have a chapter dedicated to them. The book continues with the history of Porsche Team Salzburg and Martini Racing Team told. Nothing about the car’s ownership history remains unrevealed and the book is finalized with a great description of the car itself.
Due to an extensive research that took Ian Wagstaff several years, this book is probably the best biography of a single car that I’ve got under my eyes so far. It is illustrated with dozens of pictures, many of them never published before. This book cannot be missed in any motorsport library.
Author : Ian Wagstaff
Publisher : www.porterpress.co.uk
Language : English
Pages : 320
ISBN : 978-1-907085-21-5