Author: Ian Wagstaff
Publisher: Porter Press International
Specifications: 285 x 235mm, jacketed hardback, page extent 320pp
Illustrations: Over 300 photographs, including colour
Publication: 1 June 2015
If there was one Porsche racing car that set the Stuttgart company on the road to motor sport stardom, then it must surely be the 1970 Le Mans winning Porsche 917. For many years it had been the sole aim of Porsche’s Director of Research & Development, Dr. Ferdinand Piëch, to win Le Mans, and one can easily chart the company’s route to the stop step of the podium right from the early 1960s. He achieved this goal in 1970 when Porsche 917-023, driven by Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood, crossed the line to take the chequered flag.
This magnificent book tells the story of that Porsche 917 which, in that now familiar red and white livery of the Porsche Salzburg team, is today perhaps better known than it was back in the day. In the 1970 Le Mans 24-Hours, the event was ravaged by periods of torrential rain but through it all came 917-023, driven by Herrmann and Attwood, to achieve a landmark success for the German manufacturer.
The book provides a detailed insight into the car’s seven races from the 1970 Brands Hatch 1000Km to the 1971 Daytona 24 Hours. In addition, the author has gathered together and interviewed all the surviving drivers of 917-023, namely: Hans Herrmann, Richard Attwood, Vic Elford, Kurt Ahrens, Gérard Larrousse and Gijs van Lennep. The works-assisted teams, Porsche Salzburg in 1970 and Martini in 1971, are outlined in detail, including interview input from mechanic Helmut ‘Käfer’ Frauenschuh.
The author gives it all, from the detailed anatomy of the 917-023 to the car’s later, and rather muddy, history. This work is superbly illustrated with nearly 300 period photographs, many previously unpublished, and is further supported by a portfolio of specially commissioned studio photography.
Ian Wagstaff has twice won the Guild of Motoring Writers’ Montagu Trophy as well as its Pierre Dreyfus award, and he has also received the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association’s ‘Book of the Year’ award.
Review by: Glen Smale