1971 Season (Part IV) 



May 9th 1971


 Note appeared in the “Parabrisas Corsa” Magazine Nº 264 under the Title: 


In a true display of superiority, the Porsche 917K of team John Wyer dominated at will at the quick circuit of Spa, destroying all the existing records for any category. Rodriguez won the race along with Oliver, proving true mastery in this environment. Bell won the qualifying session, while his teammate, Siffert, managed the lap record, at speeds above 260 km/h. A totally celestial race.

From the first day of practices it was possible to assert that the 1000 km of this beautiful but questioned Belgian circuit could still not have the name of the actual winners of this edition, but the name of the triumphant marque was evident.

It was more than evident that the Porsche 917K´s –with the shark fin variant rear end- could have the luxury to play “little races” with the other marques until they decided to define the subject in forceful form and put nine more points under their belt.

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El 917 de Siffert/Bell

On May 6th, Pedro Rodriguez -that at this moment was known as "the man to beat" in Spa- took some test laps, as to get acquainted again with the track, at speeds near its own record of year last, something superior to the 258 km/h mark, establishing the best lap of the day at 3m20s3/10. Immediately after this brief encounter with the track, he took a jet bound to England along with Siffert, Pescarolo and others to participate in the non championship F1 race celebrated Saturday in Silverstone, while Derek Bell and Jackie Oliver remained in Belgium with the responsibility to qualify the Wyer cars for the event on Sunday.

Just like Oliver had astonished a couple of weeks ago in the Le Mans test sessions, this time it was Derek Bell, who shun, by qualifying the car in a superb manner, clocking 3m16s0 with an average speed of 258.979 km/h, a figure never before obtained in Spa neither in F1 nor in SP.

Sharing the first row like always, Elford-Larrousse located best Team Martini 917, followed in second by Lennep-Marko in the sister machine, and Oliver-Rodriguez in the other Wyer car.  

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Foto: #22 Elford/Larrousse and #23 Marko/Van Lennep – Both abandoned

In the third row, it was located the first of the quick three liters, driven by Ickx-Regazzoni with the Ferrari 312P and to its side, Manfredini-Gagliardi with a Ferrari 512, in the fourth row Kauhsen-Jöst placed another 917 and just behind De Adamich-Pescarolo with the first Alfa-Romeo.

Once the race was started, the starting positions varied in great form, favoring both of Wyer´s cars that took off easily from the rest of the pack. The race did not have strong emotions during the development, because once the cars were organized in line, the positions were not altered, except in the cases of abandonments that allowed the rest of the list to advance.  

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The winners Pedro Rodríguez-Jackie Oliver

The only team that moved in really spectacular form in spite of having an average car was Teddy Pillette and Taf Gosselin´s Lola, but the punishment which was put under the old car, resulted only in a sixth position. Seppi Siffert managed -in the last laps- the lap record, when trying to discount time differences with Rodriguez, and to grab the triumph from him at the checkered; but, truth be told, and although Seppi managed to get close, it is necessary to recognize that the Mexican is a master at Spa and the result that finally occurred, was expected.

Ferrari is still clouded in a matter of luck. It is reasonable to understand that they could not beat the Porsches in this quick circuit, but could at least have finished the race without problems. Nevertheless, near the end of the race, Clay Regazzoni was hit laterally by Ridehalg-Taylor’s Tulon, putting the Ferrari in the sewers, although luckily without consequences for the driver.

Alfa Romeo was O.K. and without greater pretensions for this year, they are managing to hold the second place of the Championship.

It was in this race, that Porsche informed to the press its retirement from the World Championship of Makes for the 1972 season.


 Note appeared in the Argentine magazine "Automundo" Nº 312 on May 11th, 1971 

After the defeat in Brands Hatch and other unconvincing performances, last Sunday the Porsche-Gulf-Wyer team showed again, at the 1000 km of Spa, the same forcefulness of long ago. The Rodriguez-Oliver duo was the one in charge to harvest the points for the marque, which already has practically insured 1971 title.

The 1000 km of Spa, sixth event of the World Championship of Makes of the season, constituted in another resonant victory for the Rodriguez-Oliver pair. The winning machine, a Porsche 917, already appeared in the previous calculations of many educated fans as a strong candidate to conquer the competition. Spa’s layout, 14,100 meters of tarmac, is extremely quick and favored the German cars. Thus, Rodriguez, since the practice sessions, not only confirmed the prognoses but also happened to occupy a place of privilege within the legion of those that with the same marque of car, entered the test.

However, Derek Bell, who shared another Porsche 917 with Joseph Siffert, demonstrated to have means and conditions to endanger Rodriguez’s record.

Since the beginning, the 917 of Rodriguez-Oliver assumed the lead, and little by little, its dominance was evident from the rest of the competitors. Besides consolidating the marque´s comfortable position in the world championship, the winning machine set a new record for the circuit, when completing the lap in 3min 14sec 6/10 to an average speed of 260.841 km/h. With this, the previous record of: 3min 16sec 5/10 at 258.320 km/h, also owned by Rodriguez, was clearly surpassed  

Porsches 917 #21 and 22 of Rodriguez-Kinnunen and Siffert-Redman "pulling together". (Photos collaboration of Andrés Solerno)

The forceful dominion of the winners clearly proved the fact that only the other Wyer-Gulf car managed to finish the race in the same lap as Rodriguez-Oliver. These drivers took 4h 1min 9sec 7/10, which means an average of 249.069 km/h.

Somewhat distanced, the Alfa Romeo 33/3 of De Adamich-Pescarolo occupied the third position, in another very good performance, who managed to withhold the Porsche 917 of Kauhsen-Jöst, who finished fourth. Ballot Lena-Chasseuill with a Porsche 908, and Pilette-Gosselin with a Lola Mk70 occupied the fifth and sixth places.

Photos I (sent by Philippe Moriniere)

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In Classification

In Practices

Dominique Martin/Gerard Pillon - Zitro Racing Cars - Abandoned 


Photos II (sent by Luc Ghys) 

When Luc was 16 years old, was privileged witness of this race and took the photos that are exhibited next.

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Eau Rouge
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Eau Rouge
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Eau Rouge
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The JW's 917 in the paddock
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Jackie Oliver
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La Source


See the race statistics


May 16th,1971


Vaccarella - Alfa Romeo T33/33 

Jo Siffert - Porsche 908/03

 See the race statistics  


May 30th,1971


Starting Grid, in which the following cars can be seen (photo sent by Enrique Guerrero)

#1 Porsche 908/3 of Rodríguez-Oliver. After abandoning in his car, Jo Siffert joined them. They finished second.
#2 Porsche 908/3 of Siffert-Bell. They abandoned on lap 7 due to chassis problems.
#12 Alfa Romeo T33/3 of Toine Hezemans-Nino Vaccarella. They finished fifth.
#11 Alfa Romeo T33/3  of Andrea de Adamich-Henri Pescarolo. They finished fourth.
#55 - Porsche 917K of Team Auto Usdau driven by Reinhold Jöst-Willy Kauhsen. They finished sixth.
#61 - Ferrari 512S
driven by austrian Heinrich Wiesendanger and swiss Cox Kocher. They abandoned on lap 9 due to fuel pressure problems.

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Porsche 908/03 - Van Lennep/Marko  - They finished third

Kauhsen-Jöst with Team Auto Usdau´s 917K. They finished  6º
(Photo courtesy of  Philippe Moriniere)

The winners Elford-Larrousse and the 908/03  Martini Racing.  They are followed by the Chevron B8 BMW #72 de Birchenhough -Joscelyn.
(Photo courtesy of  Diego Cony)

 See the race statistics
to 1971 Season (III-2)

to 1971 Season (V)

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