Tips & Tricks
The Race - Part 2
By Simon Taylor and Patrick McNally (Autosport 18 June 1970)

Then to cap it all the rain really started to come down in bucketfulls. The track was now
awash, and the pits were busy as everyone changed to wet-weather tyres. Yet again Gulf
were quicker than Salzburg, and the Siffert/Redman car went ahead again. Speeds dropped
drastically, but not enough for some: Facetti, who was going 8 secs faster than his
team-mates in the wet, spun his Alfa on the fast uphill curve after the pits while in thcik
traffic. The car smashed into the Armco, damaging two wheels: the optimistic Facetti ran back
to the pits for a jack and two more wheels, but was unable to make the car raceworthy
because a few minutes later along came Mike Hailwood's third placed JW Porsche. Mike was
fighting for control on the slippery surface, and as he was sorting it all out he found the parked
Alfa occupying the piece of road he needed. Porsche hit the Alfa head on, and for both the
race was over. Back at the pits a shamefaced Hailwood said to John Wyer: "I'm bloody sorry,
John." Wyer replied with one of his ghostly smiles: "That's all right, Mike. Don't call us - we'll
ring you."
Mike Hailwood's Gulf Porsche no. 22 - after hittng the Facetti's Alfa
Bourdon crashed his Stingray at the Esses, and under heavy braking the Healey skated into the
back of martland's Chevron, doing bodywork damage to both which required stops for repairs.
Kelleners thumped the barrier in the Esses avoiding another spinning car, doing the nose of the
Loos 512S no good at all: the Ferrari works team lent them one of the latest-style noses, and
this was grafted on in a long stop.

Still the rain fell, and the yellow danger lights heralding further spins were on almost
continuously. It wasn't until about 6 pm that the rain began to ease, and with one-sixth of the
race completed the official order was:
1. Siffert/Redman (Porsche 917 no. 20) 61 laps
2. Elford/Ahrens (Porsche 917 LH no. 25) 61 laps
3. van Lennep/Piper (Porsche 917 no. 18) 60 laps
4. Attwood/Herrmann (Porsche 917 no. 23)
5. Larrousse/Kauhsen (Porsche 917 LH no. 3)
6. Ickx/Schetty (Ferrari 512S no. 5)
7. Brabham/Cevert (Matra 650 no. 32)
8. Galli/Stommelen (Alfa Romeo T33/3 no. 35)
9. Manfredini/Moretti (Ferrari 512S no. 16)
10. Lins/Marko (Porsche 908 no. 27)
Things looked pretty good for Porsche, with the Attwood/Herrmann and Larrousse/Kauhsen 917s
now ahead of the Ickx/Schetty Ferrari, which had lost time with a slowish brake pad change.
On the Group 6 front, the wet weather had not agreed wtih two of the Alfas, which had had a
plug change (Galli) and alternator bothers (Courage), while the Matras were all smoking heavily
and displaying an ominous thirst for oil, even though they were being filled up with oil as often
as the regulations allowed: the reason for all this way that the special long-distance piston
rings fitted to all three for this race were a bad batch and were breaking up. The
Jabouille/Depailler car slithered into the Armco, and body repairs lost it 26 mintues. The VDS
Lola, which had been performing well in the wet, lost some time replacing a broken alternator
bracket, but was lying 14th nevertheless behind the NART 512S. The ENB 512S was well down,
behind the Juncadella/Fernandez example, after a long stop to change a broken fuel line. A
leaking fuel tank had already caused the demise of the Chevron-Mazda.

With virtually the whole of Ferrais hopes resting on their shoulders Ickx and Schetty were going
very consistently, and by 10 pm teh sole remaining works car was up in third place again. The
Matras were spending longer and longer in the pits: as well as their extremely high oil
consumption, the old Matra trouble of breaking distributor arms raised its ugly head on
Jabouille/Depailler car. Beltoise had a couple of stops with the 660: it had used all its oil and
replenishment so soon would entail disqualification, so it was pushed away. Shortly after 10 pm
both the other Matras were retired for the same reason, bringing the French team's 1970 Le
Mans to a premature end.
Since its earlier accident the Kelleners/Loos Ferrari, despite its new nose, had been handling
very badly. Finally Kelleners refused to drive it on the still wet track: Loos took it out for a
couple of laps, agreed, and retired the car.

Then the handling of Elford's second-placed Porsche suddenly deteriorated and he came in to
have the suspensions checked. Nothing wrong could be found, although a broken headlamp
mounting was fixed; Vic made two more stops before a slow puncture was finally found. All this
put the Gulf car comfortably in the lead, the Ferrari up to second and Elford down to fifth
behind Attwood/Hermann and Larrousse/Kauhsen. Courage spun the Alfa T33/3 at the Esses,
damaging the rear bodywork, and a new tail section had to be fitted, which dropped him to
13th position; a similar fate befell Piper, who had been lying third in the AAW 917. In his case
the front bodywork and headlights were damaged, and he fell to 14th while they were mended.

Now leading teh Group 6 class after some very consistent motoring were Lins/Marko in their
908, who were sixth overall, a lap ahead of the Galli/Stommelen Alfa and two in front of
Posey/Bucknum in the NART 512S. Lying ninth was the VDS Lola, but soon after midnight the
big car's clutch failed and it was out. The Mandfredini/Moretti 512S had cooked the innards of
its gearbox after the oil drain plug fell out, and the mechanics were busy rebuilding the
transmission, while the Martland/Baker Chevron went very sick when a valve dropped. Paul
Owens lifted the head, changed the valve - which had fortunately not damaged the piston -
and in an hour Digby was back in the fray. One of its class rivals, the Ligier-FVC, broke its
distributor drive and retired. At midnight, with the track almost completely dry again, the first
10 were:
1. Siffert/Redman (Porsche 917 no. 20) 122 laps
2. Ickx/Schetty (Ferrari 512S no. 5) 118 laps
3. Attwood/Herrmann (Porsche 917 no. 23) 117 laps
4. Larrousse/Kauhsen (Porsche 917 LH no. 3) 117 laps
5. Elford/Ahrens (Porsche 917 LH no. 25) 115 laps
6. Lins/Marko (Porsche 908 no. 27) 113 laps
7. Galli/Stommelen (Alfa Romeo T33/3 no. 35) 112 laps
8. Posey/Bucknum (Ferrari 512S no. 11)
9. Fierland/Walker (Ferrari 512S no. 12)
10. Adamowicz/Parsons (Ferrari 312P no. 57)

Further troubles were suffered by the Autodelta team when Courage's car ran out of petrol at
the bottom of the pit road. He parked it and ran to the pits for some petrol to get it in for a
refuel. Meanwhile teammate Galli had to stop for a looseoil pipe to be fixed. The van
Lennep/Piper Porsche 917 was making up time after its long stop, but the accident had put the
front wheels out of true, and when van Lennep took it over he hadn't done many laps before a
front tyre blew at 180 mph on the Mulsanne Straight, a chunk of tread tearing through the
wing. The Dutchman stopped the car safely, but it was too badly damaged to continue.

Then at 1.45 am Ferrari's last and strongest hope for victory suffered a cruel blow. Ickx was
breaking for the Ford corner in close company with the only car that was leading him in the
race, the Siffert/Redman Porsche; as the cars were wheel to wheel a rear brake locked on the
Ferrari and the big red car spun, went over a sandbank ans hit a marshal, who was killed
instantly. The Ferrari caught fire briefly, but Ickx, although shocked and naturally very upset,
was unhurt. The Belgian had steadily been going about the race in the right way and could so
easily have won, as it turned out. It was effetively the end of Ferrari's effort to come back and
win at Le Mans.