Remembering Porsche legend Vic Elford | 1935-’22

Vic Elford’s had a rather stunning 1967 season, finishing first at le Mans and then claiming the European Rally Championship. Then there was 1968, as recounted via Porsche, that started with an epic drive at Targa Florio:

In this race, which is part of the Manufacturers’ World Championship, Vic Elford lost a rear wheel from his Porsche 907 three times in the first lap, which cost him 18 minutes. He cast aside all thoughts of a victory, but he was determined to record the fastest lap on this difficult 72-kilometre circuit. With three laps to go, Nanni Galli and Ignazio Guinti, driving for Alfa Romeo, had a three-and-a-half-minute advantage over the Porsche 907 with starting number 224. On the last lap, Elford took the lead.

1968 was to be Vic Elford’s most impressive year in racing. In January, he won the Rally Monte Carlo in a Porsche 911 S. A few weeks later, at the Formula One Grand Prix in Monaco, he finished sixth with a somewhat inferior Cooper Maserati. Narrow stretches came naturally to him. This was clear at the 1,000-kilometre race at the Nürburgring, which he won with a Porsche 908 in 1968, 1970 and 1971. But even on the high-speed track in Le Mans, Elford only just missed out on victory. In 1971, Vic Elford and Gérard Larrousse led for 21 hours in the Porsche 917 long tail. A defective clutch housing then deprived the pair of their win, which had been so close in sight.

On March 13, 2022, Elford died after battling cancer. He was 86.

Elford’s racing career starts in his home country of England, co-driving a Triumph TR3A with David Seigle-Morris in 1960. The next year, Elford campaigned his own Mini. In 1962, he ran a factory-backed DKW Junior.

He’d drive a 911 for Porsche in 1967, starting a much-celebrated, five-year run with the brand that included a 1971 Sebring win in a 917K. He’d also do camera work for Steve McQueen’s “Le Mans.”

Elford made 13 Formula 1 starts, with the first one in 1968 at the French Grand Prix. He drove an out-classed Cooper T86B to fourth-place finish.

He could run big-bore cars, too, participating in the Trans-Am and NASCAR series. In Can-Am, he drove for Chaparral and Shadow, two of the more unorthodox teams on the circuit.

During the 24 hours of Le Mans, when a Ferrari crashed in front of him, Vic stopped in mid-race to extricate the driver from his burning car… TV cameras caught the action and Vic was named Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Mérite by French President Georges Pompidou for his act of courage and heroism,” he own site states.

Shortly after, Vic retired from racing…”

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