The spectacle of a Porsche 917K driven at full chat at Kyalami, by Peter Hannen, evoked vivid memories of David Piper and Richard Attwood’s 1969 Rand 9 Hours victory when Piper’s International Sports Prototypes series graced the revamped South African circuit on December 4-6. Despite using only second and third gears – the 240mph Le Mans gearing was far too long – Hannen relied on the flat-12’s monstrous torque to blast the car clear of local ace Gary Dunkerley’s 2-litre Chevron B19 in the first race. Andrew Fletcher’s Alfa Romeo T33 V8 and Carlos I3arbot’s Lola 170 led the spirited chase.
It all went wrong for Hannen in the decider, for he lost control while lapping Chris Costas’s Automa Special and snapped into a spin. The Porsche T-boned Piper’s Ferrari PI, both drivers emerging unhurt. Dunkerley won on aggregate from Fletcher, Barbot and Jonathan du Toit’s quick BDGpowered Chevron B8 replica.