Titanic battle

10. Feb 2024 
by Ziv Knoll

For the 1970 1000km of Spa-Francorchamps, the works Porsche teams brought the 917K’s back into action after using the more agile 908/03’s at the Targa Florio. The six 917’s faced opposition from the Scuderia Ferrari who brought three 512S for Jacky Ickx-John Surtees, Ignazio Giunti-Nino Vaccarella and Peter Schetty-Arturo Merzario in the Belgian Ardennes.

A fourth Ferrari 512S was entered by Écurie Francorchamps, hence the Belgian national (yellow) colours, driven by Derek Bell and Hugues de Fierlant, seen here-above, spinning at La Source hairpin. They finished in eighth position. Notice the mighty Eau Rouge corner in the background.

It rained before the start of the race, but by the time the race started, the track was already drying. The teams had to decide on what type of tyres to use, and the two Porsche drivers Siffert and Rodriguez and Ferrari driver Ickx chose mix condition tires, but most of the field choose the safest option: rain tires.

The race was one of the best examples of the titanic battles opposing Porsche and Ferrari at the beginning of the 70s (picture below), and at the end it was the JWA-entered Gulf Porsche 917K of Jo Siffert and Brian Redman that prevailed, with the works Ferrari 512S of Ickx and Surtees in second, in the same lap.

Source: DR

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