Friday favorite: The forgotten Ford a Le Mans winner prefers to Porsche's 917 - Motor Informed
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Friday favorite: The forgotten Ford a Le Mans winner prefers to Porsche’s 917

“I cherished the vehicles that gave you a bonus. Sadly, at any time when I had a type of one thing appeared to go fallacious and we didn’t win anyway!”

However his 1970 Le Mans 24 Hours victory in a Porsche 917, Richard Attwood didn’t all the time have one of the best luck throughout a profession that spanned System 1 and sportscar racing within the 1960s and early 1970s.

PLUS: The ‘slow’ Porsche that started a Le Mans legend

Maybe one of the best instance to help his quote is the story of the automotive that Attwood picks out first when requested to pick a favorite: the Ford F3L.

World sportscar championship rules had been modified for 1968, instigating a three-litre restrict for sports-prototypes. The Ford P68, or F3L because it was higher identified, was a svelte automotive designed by Len Bailey and constructed and run by Alan Mann Racing.

The Cosworth DFV-powered F3L proved quick, qualifying second on its debut on the Manufacturers Hatch BOAC 500, however suffered from aerodynamic instability and it by no means completed a race in interval.

“It had velocity however reliability was poor,” confirms Attwood, who doesn’t consider the well-known DFV vibrations had been the reason for the problems as they had been in different sportscars. “I raced it twice, on the Nurburgring [with Frank Gardner] the place it was fully unsuited however we nonetheless certified fifth, and the Oulton Park TT.”

The non-championship Vacationer Trophy attracted 35,000 spectators and a robust subject, together with Denny Hulme in Sid Taylor’s profitable Lola T70, the same automotive of Jo Bonnier, David Piper’s Ferrari P3/four and Australian ace Paul Hawkins in his Ford GT40. Attwood outpaced all of them in apply, taking pole by zero.four seconds from Bonnier and greater than a second faster than everybody else. Over the primary 10 laps of the race, Attwood pulled away from the pack earlier than being halted by differential issues.

Attwood presses on with the F3L at Oulton Park in 1968 before broken differential put him out

Attwood presses on with the F3L at Oulton Park in 1968 earlier than damaged differential put him out

Picture by: Motorsport Images

“Denny was reigning world champion in order that exhibits how good the automotive was,” says Attwood, who went on to complete second behind Hulme sharing Piper’s Ferrari. “However then it began steering in every single place.”

Earlier than the issues had been solved, the automotive morphed into the ugly, bewinged and unsuccessful P69 of 1969, which solely appeared briefly earlier than the undertaking was canned. However, Attwood is adamant the programme ought to have continued.

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“I cherished it, there was nothing fallacious with it,” asserts the 82-year-old. “They need to have persevered with it however Ford didn’t need it. While you get a automotive with a bonus the job turns into a unique sport.”

Apart from the F3L, Attwood additionally factors to a few of Piper’s vehicles – “we couldn’t purchase a Ferrari 512 so he purchased a Porsche 917” – and the Lola T55 he raced in System 2 within the second half of 1964 because the most interesting vehicles he raced. Fairly spectacular given Attwood drove a Lotus 49B to fourth on the 1969 Monaco Grand Prix…

PLUS: Lotus F1 milestones – The 49

Attwood drove many fine cars including period F1 machinery, taking second for BRM in the 1968 Monaco Grand Prix

Attwood drove many high-quality vehicles together with interval F1 equipment, taking second for BRM within the 1968 Monaco Grand Prix

Picture by: Rainer W. Schlegelmilch / Motorsport Images




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