1971 Season (Part 3-1)
PARTIAL BALANCE AFTER THE FOUR FIRST RACES OF THE YEAR
Note appeared in the Parabrisas Corsa Magazine Nº 261 of April, 1971 under the title :
Customary to handle the specialty at will, the unbeatable Porsches were beginning to suffer, and the main reason does not reside solely in the harassment of the Italian marques, but also in organizational problems within the official teams.
The triumph of Alfa Romeo in Brands Hatch, and the excellent performances of several Ferraris can be good reasons for a change of schemes that allows the Germans to continue dominating the Sport Prototypes.
impression that the not very distant 1000 km of Buenos Aires left
us, seems a little weakened with the following races of the World
It would be
foolish to say that Porsche came down because Alfa Romeo won the 1000
km of Brands Hatch, but it is happened to us that the moment has arrived
for saying that the German marque is not working like it did in the previous
couple of years.
Aires the Martini Team did not work at all as it corresponded to
his to official team status, and except for the short driving show of Vic
Elford it was not possible to count on this team to go for the points. The Wyer-Gulf-Porsche
team-also official- but more well-known by its successes that the International
Martini won the race and also obtained the second position with relative
facility, but giving the impression of having much more problems than the Alfa
that started third, only surpassed in speed by the celestial cars.
transportation of the cars towards North America left behind the apparently
unequivocal idea that the Wyer´s Porsches sailed towards a new,
comfortable championship, and that the small problems undergone in Argentina had
been the result of a bad day and nothing else. Nevertheless Daytona
proved that belief partly wrong. Not only the organization was not as perfect as
it was believed in both of Porsche´s teams, but also the drivers gave
themselves to a war of frictions, obstructions and collisions against their
rivals and to each other, whom used every tactic allowed from boxes in a 24 hour
not only caused a series of similar reactions in the track from other drivers,
in spite of angry denunciations and orders of declassification – specially
against the very impulsive Rodriguez -, but also striked against the
integrity of the cars, that by mid-race were totally “patched”, and won that
race by chance after a lengthy pit stop in the boxes area.
was also a scandal. In the cake distribution, this time Rodriguez, Siffert,
Elford, Donohue, and a few more drivers than circulated around the
track took part in it. The presence of the Ferrari 312P of Andretti-Ickx
and the best time established by Donohue with Penske´s Ferrari 512M
altered everyone’s nerves, and the small collisions and “magic touches”
were the order of the day. The only one, which more or less survived the match,
was the 917 of Elford-Larrousse and won; but it is undeniable that
if it had followed the 312P at the pace that it was running when it
abandoned, it would have been impossible to beat him.
Hatch, the fine line that maintained the gust of Porsche triumphs
was crossed and finished. While both official teams charged violently against
each other, the Italian teams kept progressing gradually on the basis of hard
work, improvement in the pit organization, race tactics, and the cars
difficult English circuit proved that both Wyer and Martini teams
had been reached in those aspects by the small 3-litre prototypes. Stommelen
was the fastest of all with the Alfa Romeo 33/3 during both practices and
even Ickx with the Ferrari could not improve its time. With the
arrival of Regazzoni - that was the one who marked the best time in the
classification- and with a series of minor adjustments in the only official 312P,
it was possible for him to surpass by a tenth of a second Stommelen´s
time. Although both were pleasant to surpass for the first time with certain
amplitude the horde of 917's with De Adamich-Pescarolo put in with
another Alfa in the second row.
The race was developed under a torrential rain, and to relate step-by-step the carnage of shutdowns, blunders, breakage and other factors that painted the test does not lead to anything. The only certain thing there is to emphasize, is that between both Alfa Romeo and Ferrari unquestionably beated the Porsches and they did not inherit the race - speaking specifically of the winners De Adamich-Pescarolo - but that it was won in good faith, leaving in second place the 312P of Regazzoni-Ickx front of the best Porsche (Siffert-Bell).
rest of the year it will not be easy to beat the Porsches in the
following races, but we agree that if things stay this way, the World
Manufacturers Championship will not be the " robbery " that was in the
previous years 69/70.
it will be necessary to take advantage to the maximum of both models that Porsche
has for different types from circuit, the 908/03 type Targa as well as
the three variants of the 917 (conventional, long tail and type
"K"), so that the marque stays ahead in the specialty. But above all
things, the teams that have official representation will have to review their
booklets in the tactical and organizational face, and still more in the
disciplinary aspects. Possibly Wyer could have won all the races disputed
until now in 1971 but for the attitude of its drivers which aside from being
very “super-starish” and forgetting that this championship does not
consecrate figures, but the marques that pay their drivers for an efficient
work, they also ignore to a large extent the regulations, becoming penalized by
stupidities like the one of Siffert, that was punished with many laps
because he went to the pit area looking for gasoline in a motorcycle.
spectator point of view, and the followers of the specialty all around the
world, the spectacle is better than ever, since it seems that the abyss that
separated in other times the effectiveness of Porsche is shortening.
312P in the hands of experienced men like Andretti, Regazzoni
and Ickx is outlined like a short term winner, and will be specially
worthy to see the battle between the 3-litre cars of the three marques in tracks
like the Targa Florio and the Nürburgring
Romeo has obtained in Brands Hatch a legitimate triumph
that was looking for four years ago, on the basis of patience and work.
The incentive of this success can impel it to fight with less fear against
the German monsters.
km. of Monza that runs this month seem to incline in favor of Porsche
by the speed of its layout. Let us wait some days to follow this controversy,
that although with certain clear advantages in favor of the defending marque,
it does not seem to be a done deal.
RACE: 1000 KM. MONZA
See the race statistics
|1971 Season (II)|
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