24 Hours of Le Mans 1970-2015 - 45 Porsche stories (34)
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24 Hours of Le Mans 1970-2015 - 45 Porsche stories (34)

British driver Vic Elford - who turned 80 years young on Wednesday, June 10th - was one of those brawlers typical of 1960s and '70s motorsports, namely at the wheel of the Porsche 917.

His journey at the 24 Hours of Le Mans is essentially linked to Porsche: in nine participations, he took the start six times at the wheel of one of the German manfacturer's cars. In 1969, '70 and '71, he was one of the most eminent experts of the 917, the first Porsche to win at the 24 Hours. In 1970, he was the first to reach an average of 240 km/h for pole position, but he was forced to retire, just like in 1971. Despite these disappointments, Vic Elford holds a very special place: he is the only one to have driven in-race all versions of the 917, including those that raced in the U.S. in the Challenge CanAm. Elford is also the man who convinced Porsche, at first skeptical, to enter its unusable 911 in rally in 1966: an audacious bet but a winning one, with a victory at the Rally of  Monte Carlo in 1968.

Jean-Philippe Doret / ACO - Translation by Nikki Ehrhardt / ACO

Photo: LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), CIRCUIT DES 24 HEURES, 24 HOURS OF LE MANS, SATURDAY JUNE 13 1970, RACE. Loaned by the Porsche factory, the 917 LH driven during the race by Vic Elford and Kurt Ahrens was one of the stars of early-race sequences dramatized for Steve McQueen's film "Le Mans."