1970 Season (Part 2)  





Mario Andretti rejoined the Ferrari effort in this race. Thanks to their incommensurable effort and to the debris left all over Florida State by the 917´s, Ferrari won the 12 hours of Sebring, and filled of illusions his technicians, who had worked arduously to improve the performance of their engines.

The car originally destined to Andretti, broke an hour early of the end of the race, but the USAC Champion was transplanted to the machine of Giunti-Vaccarella that was currently in the fourth position, and in an amazing sprint, Andretti rushed to the chequered flag in first place. Second place belonged to the 908, driven by Steve McQueen-Peter Revson.  

John Wyer´s Team adapted new frontal wheel masses to their cars. Such wheel masses had not been previously tested and they failed during the race. Particularly, Siffert-Redman abandoned the race at the eleventh hour of the race.

Two 917s of the Salzburg Team also entered the race, but due to a preferential agreement entered by Porsche with John Wyer´s team; Salzburg could not, luckily for them, dispose of the new wheel masses. Anyway, their luck was not enough, since Herrmann-Linns abandoned due to a broken engine (it was said that one of them shifted to third gear instead of fifth) and Elford-Ahrens abandoned due to a collision that damaged beyond repair the rear suspension.

McQueen was preparing himself to shoot the film "Le Mans", and besides to participate in this one; accompanied the team in almost all the races of the championship, looking for documentation and filming scenes for its movie. Steve had bought a 917 to race it with Jackie Stewart but after the shooting, McQueen could not continue to race actively, since the company that retained its services as an actor, demanded the fulfillment of the contract by which Steve could not take unnecessary risks.  

More about the film, in the Menu: "Le Mans - The Film"

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The beginning of the definition began to insinuate in this race. In an exceptionally cloudy and rainy day, Pedro Rodriguez dictated chair of handling with its 917 squashing all opposition and driving himself all along, except for some laps, in which Kinnunen took over, in order to fulfill the regulations.

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Franca lucha entre Rodríguez-Kinnunen y el 917 #12 de Attwood - Herrmann del Porsche Salzburg. Estos últimos terminaron 3º a 8 vueltas de los ganadores.

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Rodríguez-Kinnunen seguidos de la Ferrari 512S de la Escudería Filipinetti tripulada por el suizo Herbert Müller y el inglés Mike Parkes quienes finalizaron en 13º lugar a 38 vueltas de los triunfadores.

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El 917 #10 corrigiendo un derrape

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Rodríguez y Kinnunen en un recambio de pilotos.

Los 917 #10 de Rodríguez-Kinnunen y #9 de Siffert -Redman en acción.

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Dos escenas del andar de Rodríguez-Kinnunen bajo la lluvia. (Fotos de "Le Mans Series" enviadas por Andrés Solerno)

Los ganadores perseguidos por la Ferrari 512S del Equipo SpA Ferrari SEFAC tripulada por Chris Amon y Arturo Merzario, quienes finalizaron en el 5º lugar  

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For this race, Porsche’s 5-litre engines were ready, and destined to equip the 917, and the piston displacement equality immediately marked the power difference with the Ferrari engines.

Siffert´s Gulf-Porsche 917 used the brand new 4907-cm3 engine, with 20bhp more and 10% more of torque available, but with a four-speed transmission. The engine was used for qualifying and obtaining the pole position, and then, when an oil leak was found, the 4494cm3 engine replaced it. Another novelty that John Wyer´s 917s had, was the use of Girling brakes, instead of the traditional ATE. Given the acceptable performance of the new brakes, they were incorporated also in Salzburg’s 917s for the next race.

As usual, Siffert-Redman were the quickest, but the Italians were not giving up without a fight. Now more than ever the competitive spirit of Andretti was required, to try to recover positions against both John Wyer´s Porsches. In order to replace the absence of the American Champion, Ferrari used the services of John Surtees and Chris Amon like reinforcements. 

Rodriguez-Kinnunen, the winners

Nevertheless, aunque Siffert-Redman se retrasaron, Rodriguez-Kinnunen won again; and although a Ferrari finished in the second place, the dominion began to become evident.

Salzburg’s 917 driven by Elford-Ahrens, after leading the race, abandoned the race due to a punctured tire at 180 mph (288 km/h). 

Foto colaboración de Philippe Moriniere

El 917K del Gulf-Wyer tripulado por Siffert-Redman siendo asistido en una parada técnica durante la competencia. Finalizaron 12º a 16 vueltas de los ganadores Rodríguez-Kinnunen.

Foto colaboración de Philippe Moriniere

Hans Laine-Gijs van Lennep liderando un pelotón con el 917K del Racing Team AAW. Finalizaron 11º

Foto colaboración de Philippe Moriniere

El 917K del GESIPA Racing Team, conducido por los alemanes Jürgen Neuhaus -Helmut Kelleners. Finalizaron 10º.

Foto colaboración de Philippe Moriniere

Vic Elford-Kurt Ahrens con el 917K #10 del Porsche Salzburg, delante del 917K #7 de los ganadores Rodríguez -Kinnunen.

Elford-Ahrens, luego de liderar la competencia, abandonaron en la vuelta 92 debido a la pinchadura de un neumático cuando viajaban a 180 mph (288 km/h)


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Given the special characteristics of the layout, Porsche chose to enter with its 908/03 model. Siffert-Redman won the race. 

En la foto (gentileza de Diego Cony) puede verse en primer plano al 908/03 #20 de Elford-Herrmann quienes debieron abandonar a causa de un accidente y detrás el #12 de los ganadores Siffert-Redman de la escuadra de John Wyer

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