Tips & Tricks
The Race - Part 3
By Simon Taylor and Patrick McNally (Autosport 18 June 1970)

Hard on the heels of this drama came another. The JW Automotive team, having lost two of
their three cars uncharacteristically early, were still cautiously optimistic with the
Siffert/Redman car no fewer than seven laps in the lead after 10 hour's racing. But for JOhn
Wyer there was to be no victory hat-trick: just after 2 am Seppi brought the car in with oil
pouring from the exhaust pipes and the rev-counter tell-tale reading 9600 rpm. The very
disappointed Siffert said that the car had jumped out of fourth.
But it was still Porsche 917s 1-2-3, with the Salzburg cars of Attwood/Hermann and
Elford/Ahrens split by the long-tailed Martini entry of Larrousse/Kauhsen. Porsche were also
looking good in the 3-litre Group 6 class, for fourth overall was the Lins/Marko 908, two laps
ahead of the Galli/Stommelen Alfa.

The Spanish Ferrari 512 spun and crunched its front bodywork very badly; thsi plus a split
gearbox casing forced its retirement. The Manfredini/Moretti 512S, well down the field after its
earlier gearbox dramas, went off at Tertre Rouge, and after much bodywork rebuilding in the
pits it too was out. So now only two of 11 512Ss, the NART and ENB entries, remained.
Soldiering ion well were Enever and Hedges in the Healey-Repco, despite the bodywork damage
incurred earlier. a very long stop at around 2 am to change the dog that engages fourth gear
lost plenty of time, but it continued to run consistently.

Just a few mintues after the race passed the halfway the rain began again, hard enough to
bring the speeds right down once more, and demanding tyre changes all round. With 12 hours'
racing completed the official order was:
1. Attwood/Herrmann (Porsche 917 no. 23) 176 laps
2. Larrousse/Kauhsen (Porsche 917 LH no. 3) 173 laps
3. Elford/Ahrens (Porsche 917 LH no. 25) 172 laps
4. Lins/Marko (Porsche 908 no 27) 171 laps
5. Galli/Stommelen (Alfa Romeo T 33/3 no. 35) 166 laps
6. Posey/Bucknum (Ferrari 512S no. 11) 165 laps
7. Walker/de Fierlandt (Ferrari 512S no. 12) 153 laps
8. Adamowicz/Parsons (Ferrari 312 P no. 57) 151 laps
9. Greder/Rouget (Corvette no. 2) 144 laps
10. Courage/de Adamich (Alfa Romeo T 33/3 no. 36) 144 laps
Gulf Porsche 917K no. 20 - out of the race with an oil leak
The Elford/Ahrens 917 passed its Larrousse/Kauhsen fellow when the heavy rain got into the
latter's electrics and sent its fuel pump on the blink. Courage had dropped farther back with a
second spin, this time on his own fuel as his filler hadn't been closed properly during his previous
routine stop. The car was damaged at the rear again, and another new rear section was
required; in addition the car was not very healthy and had been on seven cylinders for much of
the night.

Among the 2-litres, both the Porsche 910s had fallen by the wayside, one with rear brake
trouble (Rouveyran/Meier) and the other (Poirot/Kraus) with a sick engine. The Skailes/Hine
Chevron was running poorly because the tappets had closed up; the hardworking crew took the
camshafts out and adjusted the shims which took about 90 minutes, and this had the car
running well again. Martland was doing most of the driving in the B16-BMW because baker was
complaining of a stomach upset. The NART 312P spun in the rain and damaged its bodywork
front and rear, so the spare car was robbed of its bodywork to replace the bent bits. The
Wicky/Hanrioud Porsche 907 had two pitstops to cure a sticking throttle, but then it jammed
again at Tertre Rouge and the car bent itself against the Armco.

It was a miserable dawn, with the rain still falling from a grey sky and the tired drivers taking
things gently. By 8 am, with 16 hours' racing behind them, there were 24 cars still running.
Elford had lost some time with a stop just before 8 am to fix disintegrating front bodywork,
while the big Corvette's rather leisurely stops had seen it lose the Group 4 lead to the
astonishingly consistent Sonauto Porsche 914. The official orde was:
1. Attwood/Herrmann (Porsche 917 no. 23) 222 laps
2. Elford/Ahrens (Porsche 917 LH no. 25) 219 laps
3. Lins/Marko (Porsche 908 no. 27) 219 laps
4. Larrousse/Kauhsen (Porsche 917 no. 3) 216 laps
5. Galli/Stommelen (Alfa Romeo T 33/3 no. 35) 214 laps
6. Posey/Bucknum (Ferrari 512S no. 11) 210 laps
7. Walker/de Fierlandt (Ferrari 512S no. 12) 195 laps
8. Adamowicz/Parsons (Ferrari 312 P no. 57) 191 laps
9. Courage/de Adamich (Alfa Romeo T 33/3 no. 36) 188 laps
10. Chasseuil/Ballot-Lena (Porsche 914/6 no. 40)

Then came another blow for Porsche. at 8.30 the Elford Porsche was in again; an inlet valve
had broken. The car was wheeled away, and now the Martini 908 was second.

Just after 9 am the alfa force was reduced to a single sick Courage/de Adamich car when the
Galli/Stommelen machine was disqualified for receiving outside help when it had stopped on the
circuit earlier with its oil pipe trouble. The misfiring NART 512S, which now had the benefit of all
the unemployed works Ferrari mechanics stalled after a routine stop and needed a jump-leaded
battery to coax it into life. The organisers asked for the battered front of the Healey to be
more sturdily mended, which lost the car from Warwick some more time, and the second-place
908 got a new set of wheels and a once-over to try to cure a vibration that they had had most
of the night. At first the pit crew couldn't undo the wheels at all, and they had to find the
fattst German mechaninc in the pit road to jump on the wheel wrench.

The Martini Porsche 917 was now going very healthily again and catching the 908 rapidly. The
Martland/Baker Chevron broke a valve spring, and this time it was retired: the Skailes/Hine
Chevron was spending far more time in the pits than on the track as they tried to coax some
power out of the FVC. Then at 10.30 Courage whose car had been sounding progressively
sicker, coasted into the Alfa pit with a dead engine. The machanics could not find out what
was wrong, and the car was wheeled away to join its team-mates.

A watery sun was now struggling through the clouds to dry the track, and Larrousse made use
of the improving conditions to take second place from the 908. Thus at noon, with four hours to
go, the scoreoard read:
1. Attwood/Herrmann (Porsche 917 no. 23) 282 laps
2. Larrousse/Kauhsen (Porsche 917 LH no. 3) 277 laps
3. Lins/Marko (Porsche 908 no. 27) 277 laps
4. Posey/Bucknum (Ferrari 512S no. 11) 262 laps
5. de Fierlandt/Walker (Ferrari 512S no. 12) 250 laps
6. Adamowicz/Parsons (Alfa Romeo T 33/3 no. 37) 237 laps
7. Greder/Rouget (Corvette no. 2) 235 laps
8. Chasseuil/Ballot-Lena (Porsche 914/6 no. 40) 234 laps
9. Koob/Kremer (Porsche 911S no. 47) 233 laps
10. Linge/Williams (Porsche 908 no. 29) 232 laps

So it was 917-917-908 and the 512-512-312, although the Group 6 Ferrari was severly delayed
with an incurable misfire. They tried changing all the plugs, and one broke, which lost more
time, but the car kept struggling on. The Corvette had got the Group 4 lead from the POrsche
914, but only by a narrow margin. Meanwhile both Attwood and Herrmann were making sure
that they did not throw away their five-lap lead and were lapping very cautiously around the
4-mins mark, so that the Larrousse/Kauhsen car was currently the fastest on the track.
The Salzburg Porsch 917K leading in the rain
Porsche 917 LH no. 3 in the chase of the Porsche 917 no. 23