Thursday, 6 October 2011

Thruxton Race

After all the hard work Ginger, Bob and I arrived at Thruxton for the sports car BARC Wills Embassy Trophy meeting that Bank Holiday weekend on 30 March 1970. We were introduced to Richard Broström the team owner and several famous racing drivers such as Ronnie Peterson, Dr Helmut Marko and Jo Bonnier amongst others.
I knew absolutely nothing about a Porsche 908 except the basics; air cooled, fuel injected flat 8-cylinder, but I soon learned how to start one up and what needed doing for general maintenance and preparation. The throttle slides were prone to seize up; because these slides ran in lots of small ball bearings along each side and Ginger was constantly spraying WD40 over them, the new wonder spray.
The main issues in those days were choice of tyres and suspension set-up, coupled with the correct selection of gear ratios for a particular circuit. Ginger had a Porsche manual of gear ratios for each circuit, so they usually pre-prepared the transmission prior to arriving at a race circuit. However with experience, Porsche were not always correct and one had to change the rations to get optimum performance and also to meet driver preference.
Richard Broström had employed a young Swedish driver called Reine Wisell to drive for him that day and he went out and qualified in the 1 minute 19 seconds. Jo Siffert in David Piper’s Porsche 917 who won the race in 33 minutes 37.4 seconds over 25 laps, Brian Redman driving a works Chevron B16 Ford second, Jo Bonnier in a Lola T70 was third, followed by Barrie Smith also in a Lola T70 and Reine came in fifth in our Porsche 908. Reine did the fastest lap of the day in 1 minute 18 seconds.
Later on we returned to my parent’s house later, with the Oldsmobile and trailer sporting the Porsche 908 Spider. 

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