For the second year in succession, the West German firm of Porsche has won the Le-Mans 24-hour race.
For the second year in succession, the West German firm of Porsche has won the Le-Mans 24-hour race. The only challenge came from the Ferraris, which finished third, fourth an fifth place. The Italian cars apart, the Porsches made a clean sweep of the first 13 placing - the survivors of the 49 cars that started the race on Saturday.
Most of the favourites were eliminated with mechanical troubles. Just before dawn, Helmut Marko of Austrian and Gys van Lennep snatched the lead in their Porsche 917, setting up new records for distance covered and average speed.
Cameraman Pierre Rihouet's coverage takes up the race at nightfall on Saturday. His earlier filming of the start - 6662/71 FRANCE: PORSCHE TAKE EARLY LEAD AT LE MANS - was serviced yesterday.
SYNOPSIS: Saturday night at Le Mans racing circuit, as the field in the classic Twenty-Four Hours endurance race, starts a nightlong struggle for supremacy on the eight mile track. As expected, the Porches had leapt into an early lead, with the Pedro Roderiguez-Jackie Oliver car in first place.
But by morning, the Roderiguez-Oliver challenge had come to grief through mechanical failure. Most of the other favourites had gone the same way. But with Porsches fielding thirty-three of the forty-nine starters, one thing was sure--there'd be a Porsche challenging for the lead. A French Matra briefly contested Porsche supremacy--then dropped out another casualty of the punishing pace.
The Porsche of Austrian Helmut Marko and Dutchman Gus van Lennep took over the lead. A similar model, driven by Attwood of Britain and Muller of Switzerland, held second place. These two cars held off the challenge of the three remaining Ferraris to win the race for Porsche for the second year.
Marko and van Lennep set up new records for average speed--138 miles an hour--and for distance covered. Apart from the three Ferraris, Porsches took the remainder of the thirteen placing in the race.