The 1967 Porsche 911R Records at Monza

The BP 911R at Monza 09 (11899001R)
The BP 911R at Monza 09 (11899001R)

While having a glass of beer Rico Steinemann and Dieter Spoerry brought up the idea of breaking some long distance records after the race season in their Porsche Carrra 6. The thoughts of sitting home in the winter seemed to scare them. Even though realising it would be a tough challenge, both drivers couldn’t leave the idea for what is was. For financial reasons, only European race-tracks were taken into consideration. That only left 2 tracks. Monza and Monthléry. The latter was immediately  eliminated because both Steinemann and Spoerry thought the high speeds at the banking would not be fast enough to break records. That only left Monza, even though they knew by experience that the condition of that track was not exactly ideal.

Financial support for the project was found with BP that took the complete organisational aspect for its account. Firestone delivered the tyres and Porsche would support them technically.  Many meetings later, and after being assured that Jo ‘Seppi’ Siffert and Charles Vögele would join the record-hungry team, the complet team set off to Monza and started some test runs. October 28th 1967 everything was finally ready. One more night and the challenge would take off. However, the next morning, the Monza bankings were covered in deep fog with a zero visibility as a consequence. At 10:00 am however, it started to brighten and Karl Junker, head of the BP racing department, decided to start the record run.

Exactly at noon, Jo Siffert took off for the first lap of a long journey. Driver changes went according to plan, swell as refuelling ,tire changes and windshield cleaning. Towards the evening, the first class records started to fall. Despite the successes the Porsche Carrera 6 had in various races, the roughness of the famous Monza bankings did no good to the car. After about 12hours in the attempt no less than 3 shock absorber piston rods broke in a period of just a single hours. Attempt had to be abandoned. A long distance call to Stuttgart brought the solution. After all, they had a complete crew in Monza and at the factory they believed the new Porsche 911R would be a great car to beat some records.

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