Derek bell will star in le man s clas­sic aboard 917 lh

Motor Sport News - - Historics - By Paul Lawrence

Six Le Mans 24 Hours win­ners, with a to­tal of 16 wins be­tween them, are set to re­turn to La Sarthe for the 2018 edi­tion of the Le Mans Clas­sic (July 6-8).

Head­ing the en­try is five-time win­ner Derek Bell, who is sched­uled to race a Porsche 917LH, mark­ing a very rare rac­ing ap­pear­ance for the long- tail evo­lu­tion of the 917 that was de­vel­oped for Le Mans in 1971.

Al­though still to be con­firmed, it is pos­si­ble that Bell and Ni­cholas D’ieteren, the Bel­gian Porsche dis­trib­u­tor and a his­toric car racer, will drive the car that nor­mally re­sides in the Porsche mu­seum in Stuttgart.

This sum­mer’s races will come more than 30 years af­ter 76-year-old Bell’s fi­nal vic­tory in the 24 hours, and 48 years af­ter his de­but in the race with a works Fer­rari 512S shared with Ron­nie Peter­son.

Mul­ti­ple Le Mans win­ners Klaus Lud­wig, Henri Pescarolo and Marco Werner are all due to race in the Clas­sic, which fea­tures six 50-car grids all rac­ing three times dur­ing a 24-hour pe­riod. Lud­wig will race a 1978 Porsche 930, Pescarolo will drive a 1976 Inal­tera pro­to­type and Werner will han­dle a Lola T212 from 1971. Stephane Ortelli is due to race a Porsche 904/4 and Jochen Mass a 911 Carrera RSR.

Porsche has a ma­jor pres­ence at the event, mark­ing 70 years of the mar­que with a spe­cial Porsche-only race on Satur­day af­ter­noon ahead of the main event. The pro­mot­ers are tar­get­ing a grid of 70 cars span­ning the early 356s to the 2.8 RSR from 1973.

Bell raced the 917LH in 1971 with Jo Sif­fert

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