POWER THRILLS AT GOODWOOD
Report from the 74th Members’ Meeting
In any list of the greatest racing sportscars of all time, the Porsche 917 will appear more often than most. Incredibly, the design of this ground-breaking Le Mans winner will soon be half a century old, but examples still draw huge crowds whenever they rarely break cover.
With typical Goodwood panache, the demonstration sessions over the weekend included Group 5 sports cars of the era and no less than eight of the stunning 917s took to the track. It is now very rare to have so many 917s in action together.
Among the drivers was 1970 Le Mans winner Richard Attwood, one of the men to truly tame the fearsome 917 in period.
However, pride of place went to local hero Derek Bell in a 917 from the Porsche museum. It was the chassis he tested at Goodwood back in 1970 before being offered a factory drive.
“A unique and emotional experience,” said Bell of being reunited with the 917 he drove in Sussex 46 years ago. “We didn’t have any imagination back then,” he admitted when asked about the challenge of driving a car that was notoriously tricky, yet capable of 240mph at Le Mans in long-tailed form.
Six 512s also made a fine sight (and sound), particularly the Coda Lunga of Franco Meiners, though Oliver Bryant looked quickest in the Lola T70 he races regularly.