At record speed
The 1971 24 Hours of Le Mans took place on 12 and 13 June. It was going to be the last year of the mighty 5-litre engines, soon to be replaced by a 3-litre limit on engine capacity.
Good weather, a long fast track and the most powerful racing cars yet seen, were the right ingredients to produce the fastest race in the event’s history to date, setting a record (over 5000 kms) that would stand for almost 40 years.
It was a race of attrition and only twelve cars were classified at the finish. Winners, at an incredible record average speed of 222 km/h, were Helmut Marko (picture above) and Gijs van Lennep (picture below) in their Team Martini Porsche 917K. It was the second overall victory in succession for Porsche, and the last one for the legendary 917.