The track hosted sportscar races too,of the 1000-kilometre, six-and 12hour kind. The non-championship race of 1971 included the mightiest car ever to grace Montjuich Park: a JWA Porsche 917 crewed by Derek Bell and Dutchman Gijs van Lennep.
“It’s funny, but I remember the track as being big. It’s only when I go back there that I realise it wasn’t,” says Bell. “And people think the 917 was much bigger than it actually was. I was able to chuck it around there, opposite-locking everywhere. The tail was marked on both sides where I had grazed the barriers.”
The 917 qualified third behind a couple of nimble Chevron B 19s, then would have won the race but for a couple of hiccups.
“The biggest problem we had was with the fuel. We couldn’t get the right sort and the engine just wouldn’t run properly. That said, if it had, we might have suffered with the brakes more than we did.”
The race was won by Jo Bonnier’s 2-litre Lola, thanks too bewitching stint by his co-driver, Ronnie Peterson.
Bell concludes: “Montjuich was a special place: my F2 win there in 1970 was my greatest race.”
Better than all those Le Mans wins? A very special place, then.
Printed by W. MATE & Sows (1919) LTD. Bournemouth, and Published by the Proprietors, MOTOR SPORT (1929) LTD. 39 Victoria Street, London, SAVA. Agents for Australasia: GORDON & GOTCH (Australasia)…
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