Watch: The "nonsense" Daytona 24 Hours finishby Graham Keilloh on 25th January 2019
Footage shows Porsche’s 1968 Daytona parade finish, when it let five drivers share the glory
With the latest Daytona 24 Hours this weekend we’ve unearthed captivating footage from Porsche from the 1968 race, in which the German marque took its first victory in the event.
It did so in style too with a 1-2-3 finish for its 907s. And just as Ferrari had when it achieved a similar result the year before, the trio did a parade finish side-by-side across the line on the banked track. This, along with other footage, can be seen in the video below.
The victorious line-up was Jochen Neerpasch, Vic Elford, Jo Siffert, Hans Herrmann and Rolf Stommelen. The large cast reflected that Porsche boss Fritz Huschke von Hanstein decided to let all five get some laps in the leading car near the race’s end so they could all share in the glory.
This followed technical problems - a broken throttle link and a burnt-out dynamo - slowing its two leading cars, plus Gerhard Mitter rolling out due to a combination of a soft tyre and oil on the circuit. Mitter would have joined the winning tag-team as well but was still shaken by his accident.
Motor Sport wasn’t impressed by the move though, noting that "this made a slight nonsense as Herrmann and Siffert both won and came second."
The FIA had changed the regulations in the middle of the previous year, which meant various marques didn’t have time to prepare new cars for the endurance races early in 1968 such as Daytona. This cleared the way for Porsche somewhat, with Motor Sport adding that "as was expected, the 24-hours of Daytona was only a shadow of the battle between Ferrari, Ford and Chaparral that took place during the 1967 race."
As noted it wasn’t a stroll for Porsche though, albeit its problems were in the battle against the race rather than against rivals. The problems had started in advance indeed; in the previous December Neerpasch had a spectacular crash in the new 907 prototype while testing.
The Daytona event also was still in its infancy at this point. It was only its seventh running and only its third as a 24-hour race. For its first two years it was run over three hours, then, for the next two editions it was a 2000km event.