1971 Season (Part 1) 





 Commentaries and images extracted from the Parabrisas Corsa  Magazine, Nº247 of January 1971 

Wednesday 06 of January:

After the Wednesday practice previous to the race, the balance for John Wyer´s Team Gulf-Porsche was quite discouraging. The off-track of Jackie Oliver with damages to the nose of its 917, erased the smile off David Yorke´s face; whatsoever good thing that Derek Bell had done in the track, looking for tricks of the trade on driving the 917, and traveling at speeds very below the normal thing in the straight lines. Anyway, the maximum speed superiority of the German cars could be seen, comparing it to the Alfa Romeo, of only 3 liters, but not thus in smaller classes, where the dominators of the category showed defects that were reflected in the clocks. A nose that was almost impossible to turn-in, and a tail that flamed more than necessary, were the details that Bell let know to the people of the team. 

The Ferrari 512M of Parkes-Nonnier of the Scudería Filippinetti lead by Mike Parkes displayed an amazing power and a frightful sound that expressed his almost 600 BHP. Equally, the power-to-weight ratio of the 512 was less convenient than the one of the Porsche (slightly less powerful, but much more lighter).

Photo sent by Oscar Jarillo

Jackie Oliver declared after its accident: "It was my mistake, is not possible to blame to anybody else, not even the car. I entered the curve and stayed there. I came in very hard and car tended to go outwards.... finally while it tried to fight it, I reached the section where curve is closes in, and the spinning began. I ended up backwards, and touched the guardrail with the right side of the nose. Luckily nothing vital was broken, except for the plastic. But I insist, it was my mistake." The new nose would arrive Friday at the last minute.  

We can see that not only the plastics were broken. The windshield indicates it 
Photo sent by Oscar Jarillo

Thursday, 07 of January

From the first practices of the day, Vic Elford debuting with the 917 of the International Martini Team ended the farce and it demonstrated that it was possible to turn very fast with the 917. Powersliding through the whole session, braking late, and accelerating in the right spot, he managed to clock 23 seconds; an absolute record for the section.

Vic Elford, cigar in mouth, ready to put the overall on; and to clock, in Thursday, the best time.

First hour of afternoon, and Elford went out again, while his co-driver, Gerard Larrousse still wore his shining black velvet trousers and yellow chemise. Soon after leaving, the Porsche stalled in the chicane previous to the “Drawer” curve, because the gasoline pump had inhaled water, since probably during the boat trip, humidity was strained by some of the conduits.

The team surpassed the problem disarming the fuel pump and pipe. Fifteen minutes before they finished the tests of the day, the 917 to the control of Vic Elford appeared again and a sensational spectacle began, where it finally did the best unofficial time of the afternoon with 1m55s7/10.

In the practice, the ex- mailman straightened the pavement.

Friday, 08 of January

First day of official tests. When the day ended, both best times were for John Wyer´s new duo, and the Martini Racing; Siffert-Bell and Elford-Larrousse, respectively.  

Saturday, 09 of January

Classification day.

Siffert-Bell obtained the third best time, but they bust a valve, attributed to overreving the engine, courtesy of Siffert; which forced a change of motor.  

The dusk found in first place Rodriguez-Oliver with 1m52s70 and second Giunti-Merzario at just 4 hundredth of a second behind, with the latest Ferrari 312P (unique prototype).


In certain way, the pole time disappointed, since the performance of the 917 in January of 1970 was remembered done by David Piper and Brian Redman, when in classification of the 1000 km of Buenos Aires (non championship) they did 1m52s and something. Since now the 917 had 5000 cm³, 620 HP and a 5 speed gearbox, it was expected that the minute and 52s was comfortably beaten.

Sunday, 10 of January

The race.  

After a brief lap by the small perimetral of the Buenos Aires track, the pace car retired, and the chilling acceleration of the Ferrari 312P put Ignazio Giunti to the lead of the pack, with the 917´s of Rodriguez, Siffert and Elford following, and trying to reach to the small Italian car.

Photo courtesy by Alvaro Camaño

When leaving the opposite straight, the Ferrari flew towards the Ascari curve. 

Cover photo of the"El Gráfico " magazine Nº2675; January ' 71 

The speed was impressive and between all, Rodriguez went inside, and overtook Giunti, just before the unavoidable braking point. With the celestial Porsche leading, the squad entered Ascari, followed by Giunti, harassed by Siffert and completing the leading pack, Vic Elford although with some lost meters.  

Everything followed this way, until in the sixth lap Siffert, pushing with all he got in the opposite straight, managed to rob the second position to Giunti and in the eighth lap, Elford was able as well to pass the small Ferrari. A couple of laps more, Siffert missed the entrance to the compound pulling back to the thirteenth position, and leaving Vic the second place. Siffert said " I went behind a Ferrari, when suddenly an oil cloud surrounded me. I activated the windshield wiper and I couldn’t see absolutely anything "  

  Vic Elford

Joseph Siffert

In the 16th lap, Elford it is able to surpass Rodriguez and demonstrating that he had the quickest 917, and than his driving was the best of the day, moved away from the lead, clocking amazing times and establishing the lap record at 1m51s17 with an average speed of 198.238km/h. In lap 29 the silver-plated sharpshooting car made a noise that sounded just like an ignited blowpipe, and stopped abruptly in the entrance to the " Cajon " losing every chance.

In lap 38, when the incredible accident caused by Jean Pierre Beltoise –accident that took the life of Ignazio Giunti-, he was circumstantially first in the race, since the Porsches had stopped to resupply, and as the race did not stop, for a long while only the lap chart men were aware of what was happening in the race standings. The cars entered and left boxes, changed pilots, repaired, resupplied, and even Elford brought the car back to boxes, after being unlawfully restarted by his mechanics in the sweepers. When Larrousse was driving, he would be stopped with black flag, disqualified by Elford´s infraction.

In the middle of the confusion and with debris of the accident still on the track, Rodriguez -the leader- undergoes a tire puncture and must leave the first place into the hands of his teammate Siffert, who had carried out a spectacular overcome, after its delay in the beginning of the race.

Of there in more, the race did not have more interesting alternatives, standing out only the quick regularity of the leaders; Siffert did the habitual, but Derek Bell proved to be an excellent teammate in his first race with the 917 demonstrating sobriety and class, in contrast to Jackie Oliver that in little contributed to the second final position with Rodriguez.

Lights ignited and power-slide, courtesy of Rodriguez in the celestial blue car. The fight for the lead is about to culminate.

The Ombú curve. Rodriguez resists; note left front wheel in the air. The 917 of Elford is already straightening and sliding.

Braking at the entrance to the compound, Elford is already leading. Rodriguez is ten meters back, totally surpassed. 

Really, the first and second position of Porsche was an example of the impeccable invoice of each success of this marque and its pilots -under the Wyer administration- and the tactics of David Yorke

Click para agrandar

Los ganadores Siffert - Bell


The third and fourth position of Alfa Romeo with Stommelen-Galli and De Adamich-Pescarolo was the prize for its untiring certainty with the 3-litre prototypes.




Carlos Reutemann


Carlos Reutemann, who in 1981was world sub champion in the F1, was by that time giving his first steps in the international categories (he used to run a  Brabham in the European F2 ). In the 1000 km.  Buenos Aires in 19'71, he shared a  917 with Emerson Fittipaldi
In the They classified in the ninth position four seconds later than the pole, and quit the race during the 43rd round.


A continuación puede apreciarse cuatro fotos del 917 #28 gentilmente enviadas por Oscar Jarillo


Angel Rubén Monguzzi

Click para agrandar

El 917 del Auto Usdau con el que corrieron Joest y Monguzzi. En "Misceláneas" se pueden leer las impresiones de manejo de Angel Monguzzi.


El 917 Nº 48 ex John Wyer de Joest/Monguzzi y el Nº28 de Reutemann/Fittipaldi


Porsche 917K # 28 Team Auto Usdau The drivers: Reinhold Joest and the argentinian Angel Monguzzi (Photos: Automobiles Historique" french magazine - Courtesy by Philippe Moriniere)


Pablo Brea

Porsche 917K # 34 (chassis 025) Team Zitro Racing. The drivers: Dominique Martin and the argentinian Pablo Brea. they finished in the tenth place. (Photo extracted from " Automobiles Historique" french magazine  - Courtesy by Philippe Moriniere)


Nestor Jesús García Veiga

Esta es la Ferrari 512S Spyder del Equipo North American Racing Team que el piloto argentino Néstor Jesús García Veiga compartió con el norteamericano Sam Posey. 

Finalizaron en el 8º lugar a 17 vueltas de los ganadores




(publicadas en la revista "El Gráfico" Nº2675 del 12 de Enero de 1971)

El 917K Nº 36 del Equipo Martini conducido por Helmut Marko y Gijs Van Lennep. Abandonaron en la segunda vuelta por problemas en el motor. (Foto de la revista francesa Automobiles Historique - Cortesía de Philippe Moriniere)


See the race statistics



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