Your excellent series of photos ‘Best Two Seats in the House’ was marred by an unfortunate error on page 73. The caption describing the 1970 Watkins Glen race was accurate enough, but the photograph shows the ’71 race.
The 1971 Watkins Glen race came immediately after the untimely death of Pedro Rodriguez, so the second Gulf car was run for Derek Bell and Richard Attwood, who finished third. The race provided the third success for Alfa Romeo that year, with a win by the Tipo 33-3 of Ronnie Peterson and Andrea de Adamich. You can note that the race numbers 1, 2, 3 were offset to the right, this so that the cars could be easily renumbered for the Can-Am race held on the circuit the following day as 91, 92 and 93 for three of the Gulf drivers.
Jo Siffert had his own special 917/10 spyder ready to run for the Can-Am race, and he notched up a creditable third place on the car’s debut. In the Can-Am race Alfa Romeo again beat the Gulf Porsches, with de Adamich finishing seventh against Gijs van Lennep in ninth.
The Watkins Glen race of 1971 was the end of an incredible domination of the World Endurance Championship by two outstanding drivers in an outstanding car that won 12 races over the two years of Gulf’s partnership with Porsche.
After Watkins Glen the endurance championship would no longer see the Porsche 917 and its arch-rival the Ferrari 512. Gone also were Rodriguez and Siffert
An era had closed.
I am, yours etc,
Robin Bratchell, via e-mail
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