1969 (Part 2) Season 



It was mid April, and Porsche’s morale was very low, due to the fact that they had lost the first two races of 1969. The Germans were anxiously awaiting the debut of the 917, while they struggled with the weapons they had at the time.

Parallel to the development being undertaken on the 908´s, the team headed to Le Mans for a weekend test on a pristine 917.

In such test, Rolf Stommelen was the first on track, and clocked 216 mph (347,544 km/h) on the longest straight. The best average speed in a lap was clocked at 143 mph, which compared to the 139 mph done by a 908 Longtail (Langheck) wave a pretty good impression of the new model’s potential. Notwithstanding, the drivers were very uncomfortable with the absolutely untamable driving sensation.

As for the 908´s, their tails were replaced for another one, a little bit longer, and three kilos heavier. The refueling strategy was re-evaluated, considering that in Brands Hatch a pressureless commercial pump, with very slow results, was to be used for refueling. So it was decided that a tank, and a funnel should be used. So, using such items, the refueling of the cars was made more fast and efficient than Ferrari’s, beating them in the pit stops, and making precious extra seconds.

As for the race itself, Ferrari had classified in second place, and it was a known fact that it was the most dangerous enemy. Brands Hatch is an intricate circuit, and the Ferraris were fast in such conditions. Among the Porsches, only Siffert, works driver and tester, seemed to drive fast enough to put up a battle with Maranello´s reds.

Rico Steinemann, Technical Director of t he works team, was asking himself two questions: Will our car say alive in the battle without the support of its teammates? Can Redman drive as fast as Siffert? From the answer of these two key questions, pended the result of the third race of the Championship. A Ferrari started from the pole and stayed there until it had to make a pit stop due to a puncture in one of the tires. After that, Porsche managed for the first time in the yea, a victory, in hands of Jo Siffert and Brian Redman in their 908. The second and third places also fell in hand of the Germans; fourth place was for Ferrari, and fifth for a Ford GT40.

From Brands Hatch, the cars were immediately sent to Nürburgring for some testing. The objective was to test the 908 spyder, and get it ready for future confrontations. Porsche, after the serious fragility problems shown in the chassis at Sebring, made a huge effort, and before Brands Hatch the chassis were completely restructured, which were tested with the most advanced methods available, and analyzed through compressed air injection. The job was finished with new engine supports, in order to eliminate the vibrations, and a revised suspension and brakes system, which in conjunction with the brand new Firestone ZB-II resulted as key factors for the Siffert-Redman victory at Brands Hatch. From that victory at Brands Hatch, came one of the most impressive string of victories ever to take place.  

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During the first practice sessions, the Ferraris were clearly faster. Siffert was the only one who could battle them. During the first quarter of the race, two Ferraris, and Seppi´s 908 were constantly exchanging the first place. Then the Ferraris fell down several positions because of tire problems, and again, Siffert-Redman delivered 9 points to the house of Stuttgart. 

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Ferrari did not show up, and the 2.5-litre Alfa Romeo driven by Vacarella-De Adamich wasn’t a problem. Vic Elford, in a 908/2 obtains the pole position. The race was won by Mitter-Schutz in another 908. Only the Alfa Romeo 33 of Pinto-Alberti was able to blend between the four 908’s and two 907 that were entered. 

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to 1969 Season (Part 1)

to 1969 Season (Part III)

1953-1968 SEASON 1970 SEASON 1971 SEASON




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