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F1 in Austria 2017: Le Mans legends at the Red Bull Ring

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Le Mans legends at the Red Bull Ring
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Z There are some choppers at the Austrian GP better. When Formula 1 makes a guest appearance at the Red Bull Ring, there is always a hint of Goodwood blowing through the Styrian mountains in the supporting program. The organizer lets the fans look back a bit every time. In 2014, Red Bull offered the Austrians' Formula 1 cars. By Helmut Markos B.R.M. to Gerhard Berger's Ferrari.

Two years ago, the turbo era of Formula 1 was celebrated. With Nelson Piquet in the Brabham BT52-BMW and Niki Lauda in the McLaren MP4-2C-Porsche as star guests. In 2016, an armada of BMW M1s recalled the glory days of the Procar series.

Porsche and Ferrari bring back 70s flair

This year the theme was Le Mans. This is not as absurd as it looks at first glance. The 1,000 kilometer race at the Österreichring was part of the standard program of the Manufacturers' World Championship from 1969 to 1976. Ten vehicles started, nine of them ready to drive. They were already a pleasure in the stand in the fan zone. And a must for real motorsport fans.

The star of the Legends Parade was of course the winning car from Le Mans 1970. Helmut Marko drove the Porsche 917K. It is not the car that the Graz doctorate won with Gijs van Lennep in 1971. That was only exhibited in the fan zone. Marko's winning Porsche had a magnesium frame. The weld seams would crumble when the engine is started. Marko told us a strange background about this car: “We had no idea that we were sitting in a magnesium car. Mr Piëch didn't tell us that until after the race. ”

The former rival of the Porsche 917 was also there at the Red Bull Ring. Jean Alesi drove a wonderful Ferrari 512S. It was the 1969 version where the rearview mirrors were still mounted on the fenders and not on the roof. Alesi was as happy as a little child, but had trouble switching. “The second and fourth gears were so close together that you have to carefully shift from third to fourth gear. Otherwise, you'll suddenly be back in second gear. ”The BMW 3.0 CSL from 1973 from this era will also be there. The indestructible Dieter Quester was behind the wheel.

Four Le Mans winners: BMW, Bentley, Audi, Porsche

Then the legend parade makes a leap in time into the 80s. Porsche works driver Neel Jani climbed from his hybrid racer to the Porsche from the season1981 at. He had Formula 1 boss Chase Carey on board on Saturday. It was the last year before the introduction of Group C. The most prominent representative in Styria comes from this generation of vehicles. Hans-Joachim Stuck returned to the cockpit of the Porsche 962C in the breathtaking paint scheme in Rothmans overall in proper style.

Gerhard Berger was allowed to drive the car for which he was responsible in 1999 as Head of Motorsport at BMW. The BMW V12 LMR, the surprise winner of 1999. Berger was enthusiastic about the sound of the BMW twelve-cylinder: “You don't hear the hybrid cars from Audi and Porsche for that.” And something else surprised the new DTM boss. “I was blown down the straight line when the stucco in the Porsche 962c overtook me. That thing has a lot of steam on the straight. ”

Guy Smith drove the Bentley Speed ​​8, on which he won Le Mans in 2003 together with Tom Kristensen and Rinaldo Capello. The LMP racer was equipped with a 615 hp four-liter V8 biturbo from the parent company Audi. The nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen did the honors in the Audi R18 RP6 with the turbocharged four-liter diesel V6. The car that provisionally ended Audi's Le Mans history with a victory at the WEC finale in Bahrain.

The current winning car from Le Mans rounded off the legends parade. Mark Webber was registered on the Porsche 919 Hybrid. The Australian, who retired from racing last year, openly admitted: “For me, the appearance at the Red Bull Ring with this incomparable car is the highlight of the year.” The technical difference in 47 years was reflected in the effort. It took six people to bring the hybrid Porsche to life. One man was enough for the Porsche 917.


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