Double victory at the 1971 Spa 1000 km for the Porsche-Gulf 917’s

1971, Porsche 917 KH Coupé, Pedro Rodríguez and Jackie Oliver (no 21), Spa-Francorchamps (BE)

Hard to confirm that one would lie when he told that the 1971 Spa 1000 km a was a huge success for Porsche.  You don’t even exaggerate when you call it a whitewash.  You can find 7 Porsches in the first 10 overall finishers.  Pedro Rodriguez set a new lap record with an average speed of 161.722 mph.  Erwin Kremer and Günther Huber win the +2.0 class in a Porsche 911S.  Gerd F. Quist and Dietrich Krumm take victory in the 2.0 class in a Porsche 914-6 of the Max-Moritz team . The John Wyer-run J.W. Automotive Engineering Porsche 917Ks dominated the Spa 1000km in May 1971. Pedro Rodriguez / Jackie Oliver claim victory and Jo Siffert / Derek Bell finish 2nd. 

1971 Spa 1000km
Porsche 917 KH Coupé, Pedro Rodríguez and Jackie Oliver (no 21),

Qualifying

A few days before the actual race, Pedro Rodriguez, known as “the man to beat”, took some test laps to become familiar with the track. His goal was to reach speeds near the record he set in 1970.  Immediately after the test-laps, Rodriguez, Jo Siffert, and Henri Pescarolo take a flight to the UK to participate in the non-championship F1 race at Silverstone on Saturday. Derek Bell and Jackie Oliver remained in Belgium to qualify for the event on Sunday. Derek Bell did exactly what his teammates wanted and qualified in a record time with an unequaled average speed of 258.979 km/h. 

1971 Spa 1000 km
1971 Spa 1000 km Copyright Thierry Borremans.

The race

The track was damp but started to dry. Some teams choose to start on rain tires, others choose dry intermediates.  Right from the start, Pedro Rodriguez in the No. 21 917K (chassis 917-015/035)  and teammate Jo Siffert in the No. 20 raced away from the opposition. Jacky Ickx was 30sec behind the J.W. duo after just five laps. The dominance of the J.W. Porsches was such that Rodriguez and Siffert were being shown a board reading “EZ” for easy before either handed over to their respective teammates, Oliver and Derek Bell.

1971 Spa 1000 km
The Gulf-Wyer Porsches chasing each other

Even though Derek Bell lost some time in taking over the steer, he closed the gap to Jackie Oliver in the lead, lap by lap. For a few laps, Derek Bell was tailgating Oliver, and waiting for a mistake. Team manager David Yorke feared this would end badly, and decided to hold a board to keep positions to secure the victory. Jo Siffert on the other hand, who wanted to repeat his 1969 Spa 1000 km victory, tried to convince Derek Bell to go faster.  Bell followed the team instructions.  The end result was a four-lap victory for the two Porsches

1971 Spa 1000 km
#22 Elford:Larrousse and #23 Marko:Van Lennep – Both abandoned

The 1971  Spa 1000km was nearly a triple Porsche victory, as the Willi Kauhsen / Reinhold Joest team was solid in 3rd place. However, a tire inspection after a tire change set them back to the 7th position. Some fast racing however made them climb up the ranking and finish 4th overall. Both Porsches of the Martini Racing Team (Vic Elford / Gerard Larousse,  and Helmut Marko / Gijs van Lennep) were forced out by fuel tank problems and ruptured fuel lines.

Ballot-Lena/ Chasseul drove an excellent race in a Porsche 908/2 and finished the race 5th overall.  Erwin Kremer and Günther Hüber finished 7th overall and won the +2.0 class in a Porsche 911S. 

1971 Spa 1000 Km Entry list

1 Jacky Ickx/Clay Regazzoni Spa Ferrari SEFAC Ferrari 312PB
2 Henri Pescarolo/Andrea de Adamich Autodelta SpA Alfa Romeo T33/3
3 Claude Ballot-Léna/Guy Chasseuil Ecurie Sonauto Porsche Porsche 908/02
8 Tony Goodwin/Alistair Cowin Tony Goodwin Redex RPA BMW (Chevron B8)
9 Martin Ridehalgh/Ian Taylor Martin Ridehalgh Dulon LD11P Porsche
20 Jo Siffert/Derek Bell John Wyer Automotive Engine Porsche 917K
21 Pedro Rodriguez/Jackie Oliver John Wyer Automotive Engine Porsche 917K
22 Vic Elford/Gérard Larrousse Martini International Racing Porsche 917K
23 Helmut Marko/Gijs van Lennep Martini International Racing Porsche 917K
24 Dominique Martin/Gérard Pillon Zitro Racing Cars Porsche 917K
25 Willy Kauhsen/Reinhold Joest Team Auto Usdau Porsche 917K
26 Herbert Müller/René Herzog Herbert Müller Racing Ferrari 512M
28 Cox Kocher/Heinrich Wiesendanger Herbert Müller Racing Ferrari 512S
29 Mike Coombe/Paul Vestey Mike Coombe Autoracing Lola T70 Mk.3B
31 Teddy Pilette/Gustave Gosselin Racing Team VDS Lola T70 Mk.3B
32 Giancarlo Gagliardi/Corrado Manfredini Scuderia Filipinetti Ferrari 512M
33 Tony Birchenhough/Brian Joscelyne Paul Watson Race Organisation Chevron B8 BMW
40 Chris Tuerlinx/John Byttebier Transeurop Gulf Racing Chevrolet Corvette
41 Jean-Claude Aubriet/’Sylvain’ Ecurie Léopard Chevrolet Corvette
43 Pierre Greub/Jean-Claude Guérie Pierre Greub Porsche 911S
44 Roland Larsson/Kurt Simonsen Kurt Simonsen Porsche 911S
45 Bernard Chenevière/Charly Cuenoud Porsche Club Romand Porsche 911S
46 Günther Huber/Erwin Kremer Kremer Racing Porsche 911S
47 Jean-Pierre Gaban/Willy Braillard Jean-Pierre Gaban Porsche 911S
48 Rolf Göring/Klaus Utz Autohaus Max Moritz Porsche 911S
49 Gerd F. Quist/Dietrich Krumm Autohaus Max Moritz Porsche 914/6 GT
50 Jacques Dechaumel/Jean-Claude Parot Jacky Dechaumel Porsche 911S
51 Jean Sage/Paul Keller Porsche Club Romand Porsche 914/6

1971 Spa 1000 Km Starting grid

1 20 Jo Siffert/Derek Bell Porsche 917K 3:16,000
2 22 Vic Elford/Gérard Larrousse Porsche 917K 3:18,200
3 21 Pedro Rodriguez/Jackie Oliver Porsche 917K 3:19,200
4 23 Helmut Marko/Gijs van Lennep Porsche 917K 3:20,400
5 1 Jacky Ickx/Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 312PB 3:22,200
6 32 Giancarlo Gagliardi/Corrado Manfredini Ferrari 512M 3:24,400
7 25 Willy Kauhsen/Reinhold Joest Porsche 917K 3:26,200
8 2 Henri Pescarolo/Andrea de Adamich Alfa Romeo T33/3 3:27,100
9 26 Herbert Müller/René Herzog Ferrari 512M 3:28,300
10 28 Cox Kocher/Heinrich Wiesendanger Ferrari 512S 3:36,800
11 24 Dominique Martin/Gérard Pillon Porsche 917K 3:40,700
12 31 Teddy Pilette/Gustave Gosselin Lola T70 Mk.3B 3:41,600
13 3 Claude Ballot-Léna/Guy Chasseuil Porsche 908/02 3:53,900
14 40 Chris Tuerlinx/John Byttebier Chevrolet Corvette 4:01,200
15 46 Günther Huber/Erwin Kremer Porsche 911S 4:18,000
16 8 Tony Goodwin/Alistair Cowin Redex RPA BMW (Chevron B8) 4:18,100
17 29 Mike Coombe/Paul Vestey Lola T70 Mk.3B 4:18,700
18 33 Tony Birchenhough/Brian Joscelyne Chevron B8 BMW 4:22,500
19 47 Jean-Pierre Gaban/Willy Braillard Porsche 911S 4:22,500
20 44 Roland Larsson/Kurt Simonsen Porsche 911S 4:23,800
21 49 Gerd F. Quist/Dietrich Krumm Porsche 914/6 GT 4:23,900
22 41 Jean-Claude Aubriet/’Sylvain’ Chevrolet Corvette 4:28,100
23 9 Martin Ridehalgh/Ian Taylor Dulon LD11P Porsche 4:30,700
24 45 Bernard Chenevière/Charly Cuenoud Porsche 911S 4:32,400
25 48 Rolf Göring/Klaus Utz Porsche 911S 4:32,500
26 51 Jean Sage/Paul Keller Porsche 914/6 4:32,900
27 43 Pierre Greub/Jean-Claude Guérie Porsche 911S 4:33,500
28 50 Jacques Dechaumel/Jean-Claude Parot Porsche 911S 4:50,000

1971 Spa 1000 km Results

1 21 Pedro Rodriguez/Jackie Oliver Porsche 917K 71 4:01:09,700
2 20 Jo Siffert/Derek Bell Porsche 917K 71 + 00:00,400
3 2 Henri Pescarolo/Andrea de Adamich Alfa Romeo T33/3 67 + 4 laps
4 25 Willy Kauhsen/Reinhold Joest Porsche 917K 66 + 5 laps
5 3 Claude Ballot-Lena/Guy Chasseuil Porsche 908/02 60 + 11 laps
6 31 Teddy Pilette/Gustave Gosselin Lola T70 Mk.3B 58 + 13 laps
7 46 Günther Huber/Erwin Kremer Porsche 911S 55 + 16 laps
8 1 Jacky Ickx/Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 312PB 54 + 17 laps – Accident
9 49 Gerd F. Quist/Dietrich Krumm Porsche 914/6 GT 53 + 18 laps
10 44 Roland Larsson/Kurt Simonsen Porsche 911S 53 + 18 laps
11 43 Pierre Greub/Jean-Claude Guérie Porsche 911S 52 + 19 laps
12 33 Tony Birchenhough/Brian Joscelyne Chevron B8 BMW 52 + 19 laps
13 32 Giancarlo Gagliardi/Corrado Manfredini Ferrari 512M 51 + 20 laps – Engine
14 47 Jean-Pierre Gaban/Willy Braillard Porsche 911S 51 + 20 laps
15 26 Herbert Müller/René Herzog Ferrari 512M 50 + 21 laps – Engine
16 41 Jean-Claude Aubriet/’Sylvain’ Chevrolet Corvette 50 + 21 laps
17 48 Rolf Göring/Klaus Utz Porsche 911S 50 + 21 laps
18 8 Tony Goodwin/Alistair Cowin Redex RPA BMW (Chevron B8) 49 + 22 laps – Engine
DNF 9 Martin Ridehalgh/Ian Taylor Dulon LD11P Porsche 40 Accident
DNF 50 Jacques Dechaumel/Jean-Claude Parot Porsche 911S 38  
DNF 40 Chris Tuerlinx/John Byttebier Chevrolet Corvette 38 Head gasket
DNF 51 Jean Sage/Paul Keller Porsche 914/6 38 Disq : Outside assistance
DNF 24 Dominique Martin/Gérard Pillon Porsche 917K 31 Puncture, accident
DNF 22 Vic Elford/Gérard Larrousse Porsche 917K 31 Handling
DNF 45 Bernard Chenevière/Charly Cuenoud Porsche 911S 28 Ignition
DNF 29 Mike Coombe/Paul Vestey Lola T70 Mk.3B 15 Rotor arm
DNF 23 Helmut Marko/Gijs van Lennep Porsche 917K 6 Engine
DNF 28 Cox Kocher/Heinrich Wiesendanger Ferrari 512S 0 Hub

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Pictures courtesy Porsche AG, Thiery Borremans, and unknown.