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...
Buenos Aires 1000Km - 1971 - Ignazio Giunti fatal accident
Ignazio Giunti (30 August 1941 - 10 January 1971) was an Italian racing
driver who made his name in saloon and Sports Car Racing in the late 1960s.
Tragedy struck in his first drive in 1971 whilst racing in the 1000 km
Buenos Aires race, when his Ferrari 312PB prototype ploughed into the back
of the Matra 660 of Jean-Pierre Beltoise, who was pushing the car along the
track after it had run out of fuel. The impact and the subsequent fire gave
the popular Italian no chance of survival.
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....
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
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