The 1971 24 Hours of Le Mans took place on 12 and 13 June 1971. This year would 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 Gijs van Lennep (picture above) and Helmut Marko (picture below) in their Team Martini Porsche 917K.
It was the second overall victory in succession for Porsche.