Nobody will ever again experience the exhilaration of winning Le Mans in Porsche 917, swerving pile-ups and skating through treacherous rain. But Richard Attwood can offer the next best thing: a first-hand account of that exact scenario, as he drove to a famous victory in 1970.
This summer, the man who, alongside Hans Herrmann, kick-started Porsche’s record-breaking run of Le Mans wins, will recount tales from his decorated career in an exclusive Motor Sport Game Changer event on Father’s Day, 19 June.
Now 82, Attwood raced in grands prix for Lotus, BRM and Cooper but found his greatest success in sports car racing with Porsche alongside the likes of Vic Elford, Brian Redman and Herrman.
It’s his against-the-odds Le Mans win that Attwood is rightly celebrated for, driving the short-tail factory 917K in the Austrian colours of Porsche Salzburg.
Having experienced the aerodynamic flaws of the previous year’s long-tail car, Attwood opted for the stable, slower version, which was well off the pace of the long-tail car, which also had a larger engine.
But accidents, mishaps and torrential rain saw the race come to Attwood and Herrman, whose No23 car slowly splashed its way to the front — often sideways, but never joining the lengthening list of retirements.
“You couldn’t lack a fraction of a second of concentration because the car was ready to break away,” Attwood told Motor Sport in a previous interview. “There were so many times when I thought, ‘Am I going to get the car straight in time?’”
He made it to the finish line, exhausted, and not realising at the time that he had been racing while suffering from mumps. “The combination of my illness and fatigue — I was completely gone,” he said.
Hear more from this legend of Le Mans in the Game Changer Event at Braxted Park Essex. Click below for more information and to book tickets.