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Porsche 718: A Living Legacy

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 10:29 AM

Not really a historic racing video, but close enough.


"Once you get it on song, get up to 7,000-plus-revs, it was absolutely amazing,” says racing driver Derek Bell, “… and the fact you could brake so perfectly, flick it into a corner, put the power on… it just wanted the hell driven out of it.”

Former Porsche works driver Derek Bell wasn’t just driving any classic Porsche on any road – he was driving the Targa Florio-winning 718 RS 60 on the actual Targa Florio course in Italy. Noted for its 800+ corners, dozens of hairpin turns, and danger everywhere else, the Targa Florio is still a revered, respected, and cherished event in Sicily, where it was held in period.

Bell’s career, however, happened much later and he never did get a chance to drive Porsche’s diminutive giant-killer in period competition. “I never imagined I’d ever drive this car, I never imagined I’d ever drive on the Targa Florio…”

“Here I was having this opportunity to step back in history, if you like, before my time with Porsche. When I realize that, and think about what Porsche has meant to me during my life, and what it’s done for me, I realize how lucky I’ve been to go back before my actual period with Porsche and drive a car that created history in 1960, and even before that.”

Even for an accomplished motorsport veteran like Bell, the former racing car and course presented a number of challenges. “It took me some time to get completely confident with what I was doing, because I’ve never gone through so many hairpin bends in my life,” he says.

“I had a very special feeling that I can’t really put into words, but it was almost choking me when I put it into first gear and driving it up the road, and that feel – it’s actually the feeling of freedom,” Bell says, “… because I was on my own, on this amazing course, nobody around, and I was driving through corners that the greats had actually gone ’round those corners.”

Bell had to keep telling himself: “You’re not on just a bit of road… you’re on the Targa Florio course.”


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Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 10:43 AM

The "718" is possibly the finest expression of what began as the "550" in 1953, a giant slayer able to win ahead of car with three times the engine displacement. Plenty of great drivers had spectacular wins with these cars, now worth millions.

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