Porsche marks Le Mans winner Richard Attwood’s 80th birthday

Richard Attwood, one of the most successful works racing drivers of Porsche AG, celebrated his 80th birthday on 4 April 2020. 50 years ago, the British racing driver Attwood achieved the first overall victory for Porsche at the 24 Hours of Le Mans together with Hans Herrmann.

Porsche marks Le Mans winner Richard Attwood's 80th birthday

Attwood developed a passion for motorsports at an early age – inspired by the car dealership run by his parents. After racing in formula sport with Triumph and BRM, he first came into contact with the Porsche brand in 1967. Together with William Bradley, he finished second in Zeltweg driving a private Porsche 906 Carrera 6.

Porsche marks Le Mans winner Richard Attwood's 80th birthday
Attwood at Brands Hatch in 1969

Porsche engaged Attwood for the World Sportscar Championship two years later in 1969, and from then on he was retained under contract as a works driver. He raced in the World Championship for Makes in a Porsche 908/02, and came second in both Brands Hatch and Watkins Glen together with Vic Elford. In the season finale in Zeltweg, he finished third with Brian Redman in the 917. Together with Hans Herrmann, he took part in the Nürburgring 1,000 km driving a Porsche 908/03 in 1970 – finishing in 2nd place.

Porsche marks Le Mans winner Richard Attwood's 80th birthday
Attwood with Hans Herrmann and the Porsche 908 team in 1970



The first overall victory in the most important endurance race in the world is considered to be one of the greatest racing successes of the sports car manufacturer from Zuffenhausen. On 14 June 1970, Porsche achieved the first of a total of 19 overall victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. After exactly 4,607.811 kilometres or 343 laps, Richard Attwood and Hans Herrmann crossed the finishing line first in the legendary Porsche 917 KH from Porsche Salzburg with the start number 23. “Unlike what many people may think, I never did any testing in the 917. I drove a 917 for the first time in a qualifying race in 1969,” says Attwood looking back. “In 1970 I did not believe for a minute that we had even the slightest hope of winning.”

Porsche marks Le Mans winner Richard Attwood's 80th birthday
The Porsche 917 driven by Richard Attwood and Hans Hermann to victory at the Le Mans 24HR in 1970
Porsche marks Le Mans winner Richard Attwood's 80th birthday
Attwood, Herrmann and the Porsche team celebrate their historic win at Le Mans



In 1971, he achieved another first place in the 1,000 kilometre race at the Österreichring. Richard Attwood retired from active motor racing at the end of the season at the age of just 31. His last podium finish was in 1971 together with Derek Bell in the 917 KH at the season finale of the World Sportscar Championship in Watkins Glen (3rd place).

Porsche marks Le Mans winner Richard Attwood's 80th birthday
The iconic Gulf livery Porsche 917 that finished 2nd at Le Mans in 1971

However, the now 80 year-old was not quite ready to fully enjoy his retirement. In 1984, he finished 15th in Daytona in a Porsche 928. Today, Attwood still accompanies the Porsche Museum to its driving events at renowned classic car meets all over the world. Among other things, he can be seen at the Festival of Speed in Goodwood, the Sound Night as well as at various historic motorsports events.

Porsche marks Le Mans winner Richard Attwood's 80th birthday
Porsche team mates Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood reunited

Below is a list of Richard Atwood’s most important Porsche racing successes

1967

2nd place             500 km Zeltweg, Porsche 906 Carrera 6

1969

7th place              12h Sebring, Porsche 908/02

2nd place             6h Brands Hatch, Porsche 908/02

4th place              1,000 km Spa, Porsche 908 LH

4th place              1,000 km Nürburgring, Porsche 908/02

2nd place             6h Watkins Glen, Porsche 908/02

3rd place             1,000 km Österreichring, Porsche 917

1st place              9h Kyalami, Porsche 908/02

Porsche marks Le Mans winner Richard Attwood's 80th birthday



1970

3rd place             1,000 km Brands Hatch, Porsche 917 KH

5th place              Targa Florio, Porsche 908/03

9th place              1,000 km Spa, Porsche 908/02

6th place              1,000 km Spa, Porsche 917 KH

2nd place             1,000 km Nürburgring, Porsche 908/03

1st place              24h Le Mans, Porsche 917

3rd place             CanAm Watkins Glen, Porsche 917 KH

4th place              1,000 km Österreichring, Porsche 917 KH

Porsche marks Le Mans winner Richard Attwood's 80th birthday

1971

2nd place             24h Le Mans, Porsche 917 KH

1st place              1,000 km Österreichring, Porsche 917 KH

3rd place             6h Watkins Glen, Porsche 917 KH

Porsche marks Le Mans winner Richard Attwood's 80th birthday

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