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The greatest Porsche 911 of all? Part one

10 months ago

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Writer:

Andrew Frankel | Ti co-founder

Date:

11 May 2023

Half a century ago this week, on 13 May, 1973, a works-entered Porsche won a round of the World Sportscar Championship. Nothing particularly unusual about that – by then, Porsche had well established itself as the dominant force in international endurance racing. But this was different, in two very significant ways.

First of all, this wasn’t just any round of the World Sportscar Championship. It was the Targa Florio, the most punishing road race still on the calendar. Or rather, still on the calendar for now, because after the 1973 edition the Targa Florio would no longer be a qualifying round of the World Championship. As Alan Henry put it in his race report for Motor Sport, ‘Next year, the CSI have not allowed it to be included in the international calendar, the powers that be having run out of events to get excited about banning, and thus been forced to turn their attentions to the Targa Florio in order to keep occupied.’

So it was the end of an era – teams and drivers alike were itching to win the last proper Targa. What’s more, it wasn’t some purpose-built racing prototype that won the event for Porsche, but a 911 Carrera RSR, still based on a model you could buy for the road from a showroom. And it won the event by beating the very best prototypes fielded by the much-fancied Ferrari and Alfa Romeo factory teams.

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