Soon after the start the poor handling of the 917 and the inexperience of the driver resulted in a drama: the death of British driver John Woolfe on lap 1 when his private Porsche 917 crashed at Maison Blanche. Woolfe was killed, probably due the fact that he had not bothered to put on his safety belt. This was likely done because of the style of the traditional start used at Le Mans until that year, in which drivers were required to run across the track to their cars, climb in and get it started as quickly as possible to pull away from the grid. Woolfe likely sacrificed strapping his safety belts in order to gain a better start.
The nearly full fuel tank from Woolfe's car became dislodged and landed in front of the oncoming Ferrari 312P of Chris Amon. Amon ran over it, causing it to explode under his car, which led to his retirement. The race was stopped for 2 hours due to these two first lap incidents, but was eventually restarted.
1970 - A Year To Remember - John Wyer's Gulf Porsche 917 team
A wonderful period film detailing the 1970 World Sportscar Championship as
remembered by John Wyer with appearances by Pedro Rodriguez, Jo Siffert,
Leo Kinnunen, Brian Redman and many others. Porsche 917, Ferarri 512,
Porsche 908 Mk3 Spyder and footage of Daytona, Le Mans, Spa-Francorchamps,
Sebring, Targa Florio and many others...
Ford GT40 - 1968 24 Hours of Le Mans
Wonderful period video from brake pad manufacturer Ferodo on the 1968 Le
Mans race from the standpoint of John Wyer's Gulf Oil Ford GT40 team, who
won the race. The first 4 minutes shows a high speed in-car lap around Le
Mans narrated by Stirling Moss. Wonderful video with footage of Alfa Romeo
33s, Porsche 908s, Matras, etc....
A Le Mans' Hero: Porsche 917 - PURE RACECAR SOUNDS
When you think about racecars and Le Mans, you probably think about this:
the Porsche 917. You used to see this monster in videogames but in my video
you can finally see how it looks like in real world!
I'm proud to host on my channel this proper Le Mans hero, a Porsche 917/k
to be precise. The history of this incredible machine is way too long to be
reported here so I'll link its Wikipedia page:
I'll then stick to what it's like to see such a monster in real world; it's
just amazing: the car is lower than anything else, the sound it produces is
nearly disturbing due to its loudness! I cannot imagine what was like to
race at Le Mans or at the Nurburgring in one of these...
Enjoy this piece of automotive history! Don't forget to subscribe to my
Le Mans - 1972 - Jo Bonnier fatal crash
Jo Bonnier was involved in an accident on the straight between Mulsanne
Corner and Indianapolis at Le Mans in 1972 when his open-top Lola-Cosworth
T280 collided with a Ferrari Daytona driven by a Swiss amateur driver
Florian Vetsch. His car was catapulted into the trees and he was killed.
Fellow racer Vic Elford saw the Ferrari burning furiously, and pulled his
Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 over to the right side of the track and ran across the
track to the Ferrari, opening the door, attempting to get Vetsch out. But
Vetsch had already gotten out of the car and was on the side of the track
where Elford had parked his Alfa. Elford saw Vetsch and then saw the
wreckage of Bonnier's yellow Lola in the woods next to the track. According
to Elford, the last he saw of Bonnier's Lola was that it was "spinning into
the trees like a helicopter". Elford later handed off his Alfa to Helmut
Marko, but the gearbox froze solid and they dropped out of the race. Elford
later said "it was the first time in my racing career I'm glad my car
1972 Porsche 917/10 Road Test
How do you test rebuilt turbos on a 1000
million dollar, championship winning Can-Am race car? Road test, of course.
Fast forward to 5:23 for the freeway section. Apologies for the foggy lens
as the video progresses.
Le Mans - 1972 - Start
The Matra of Jean-Pierre Beltoise and Chris Amon took the lead at start,
but broke its V12 at the beginning the third lap. This caused enough
consternation among the other Matra drivers to allow the Lolas of Bonnier
and Hugues de Fierlant to take the lead. Bonnier was slowed down by a
deflated tire and after the first pit stops the two remaining Matra 670s
were leading the race again with François Cevert/Howden Ganley on front.
Even if the reliability of the Ford-Cosworth DFV that powered the Lolas was
questionable on a 24-hour race, there was some hope for a general failure
of the Matras, and Jo Bonnier decided to keep some pressure on. The Lolas
were running fast, with Bonnier establishing a new lap record early in the
evening. The other Lola broke its gearbox.
Graham Hill took the lead with his Matra around midnight.
At dawn the Matra 670 swapped their position again. Bonnier's Lola T280 was
still there with a surprisingly healthy DFV V8. During the night some race
incidents caused unexpected pit stops and the car was only eighth but the
F1-inspired Lola was running really fast the early morning. Just before
8:30 a.m., Bonnier's Lola came upon the Ferrari GTB4 of Florian Vetsch
before Indianapolis curve. The witnesses are not entirely sure what Bonnier
hit first, the Ferrari or the barrier, but the Lola went over the barrier
and into the trees killing Bonnier.
This tragedy left the Matras without any serious opposition. Despite an
unscheduled pit stop, the car of Ganley and Cevert was still leading when
Ganley got hit in the tail by a Chevrolet Corvette. This gave the lead to
Henri Pescarolo and Graham Hill. The David Hobbs/Jean-Pierre Jabouille
Matra 660 was stopped with transmission problems.
The Matra 670 "Short Tail" piloted by Pescarolo and Hill took first place,
and the 670 "Long Tail" driven by Cevert and Ganley finished second. This
was the first victory of a French car since 1950, and made Graham Hill the
first, and so far only, driver to win the Triple Crown of the Indianapolis
500, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Formula One World Championship.
With such notable results at the top, the third position of the Porsche
908L driven by Reinhold Joest, Michel Weber and Mario Casoni that was
mainly the result of careful preparation by Joest and his team was largely
unnoticed, yet remarkable.
Fatal Plane Crash Recorded From Inside The Plane
Shorter version is posted here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64w--j89K34
If you're wondering why I posted the whole video and not just the
accident, it's because if you watch the whole thing you can easily put
yourself in the airplane and almost feel what they went through. It's
definitely worth the 7 minutes of time to get a sense of what happened here
and maybe learn something and fly safer as a result.
Link to the NTSB accident report:
Cessna L-19 Bird Dog pilot leaves himself no escape route and crashes
killing himself and his friend in the back. He stalls the airplane at least
3 times in the last few seconds of flight and each time it stalls he pulls
the stick back. Lets see, I teach my students to add full power and
decrease the angle of attack. Since this pilot was already at full power he
had only one thing to do to gain airspeed. PUSH FORWARD on the stick. Also
his bank angle was about 60 degrees in the last portion of the turn. Stall
speed, as indicated on the airspeed indicator, increases with bank angle.
This is because in a turn, to maintain altitude, the angle of attack has to
be increased by pulling the stick back. The reason for this is the plane
loses some vertical component of lift, the amount depends on the bank
angle. 60 degrees of bank requires the wing to produce twice the lift, to
maintain altitude, as that needed to fly straight and level. Ie: gross
weight is say 2300 lbs. 60 degrees of bank means the wing has to produce
4600 lbs. of lift just to maintain altitude, and that assumes the tail is
not producing a down force which is almost never the case. Some airspeed is
also lost to do this and if you're already at full power then you need to
determine if you can push the nose down to maintain airspeed. In this case
the pilot was at about 10,000 ft MSL but only a few hundred feet AGL. He
had no altitude to spare to accomplish this safely at the bank angle he
chose. I believe he could have made the turn to the left and less bank and
came out of this terrible situation alive.