Legendary motorsport all-rounder Vic Elford dies aged 86

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Vic Elford has died at the age of 86

Forever associated with Porsche thanks to his 1968 exploits, ultra-successful racer has lost his battle with cancer

Vic Elford, one of the fastest and multi-disciplined of racers, has died at the age of 86 following a long battle with cancer.

Although the Englishman started his career in rallying, it was with Porsche that he made his name, chiefly as a result of his now legendary 1968 season.

It started with a win on the Monte Carlo rally in a Porsche 911 T, was followed up by a victory at the Daytona 24 Hours driving a long-tailed 907 and then capped in May 1968 with a Targa Florio win in another 907.

Any thoughts that ‘Quick Vic’ was a close-wheeled specialist were put to bed by a fourth place finish in that July’s French Grand Prix. It was a typical performance from a man who proved rapid in any machinery. 

His memory and fearlessness earned him multiple wins across several seasons, all achieved at a time when the mortality rate in the sport was frighteningly high.

Despite all this, he never won the Le Mans 24 Hours. Elford twice won his class and competed in the all-conquering Porsche 917, but an outright win eluded him. He came close during the 917’s debut in 1969 and stuck it on pole in 1970, the year of Porsche’s first overall victory, but an engine failure meant he retired from the latter after 18 hours.

The Nürburgring was a happier hunting ground for Elford, with a total of five wins there, including a 1967 victory in the Marathan de la Route, an 84-hour epic dubbed the world’s longest race.

But it’s for 1968 he will always be remembered. It’s a feat that’s unlikely to ever be repeated.

Source: Autocar

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