1971 was a sort of a watershed year for me; I had become involved with shooting for Panorama, and had done the events at Daytona and Sebring. I hadn’t ever been to Watkins Glen, but a good friend was to race his 911 L (on the same track with 917s!). Three of us flew up in a Cessna with another friend and I shot the race, though there was never a Pano story that year; an Alfa T33/3 won the sports car race, and the mighty McLarens took the honors the next day in the Can Am tussle, though the 917s were hot on their heels in both events, and Siffert’s third place in the Can Am foreshadowed the changes to come in that series.
One of many memorable events that weekend was Derek Bell’s gutsy repair of his 917, on track, just before turn 1; I think it was a linkage issue. Not the most dignified position, kneeling on a hot engine with buns in the air, but it worked! Bell — with Atwood — finished third in the race, behind the Siffert/van Lennep 917. He went on to cement his place in Porsche racing history in the years to come, and the 917 went on to crush the McLarens and all others in the Can-Am series.
About Leonard Turner and "The Last Turn"
With a background in photography spanning more than 5 decades, Leonard Turner was Porsche Panorama’s chief photographer for some 40 years, shooting several hundred covers for the magazine and countless feature spreads involving racing, new car introductions, portraits, technical illustrations, and a plethora of other topics. In the course of doing this, he has traveled widely over the United States and Europe, visiting the Porsche factories and shooting at many venues, including a portfolio of the world’s greatest race tracks.
Leonard's photographs have been published in many books including Porsche: Portrait of a Legend; Porsche Specials; Porsche, the 4-Cylinder, 4-Cam Sports & Racing Cars; Sebring, the Official History; Carrera RS; and Porsche: Prototype Era 1964 to 1973. His magazine credits, other than Panorama, include Autoweek, Road & Track, Automobile, Christophorus, and Excellence.
It was with this background in mind that we asked Leonard to open up his archives to share with you here on FLATSIXES.com. His personal files, both digital and film, contain tens of thousands of images of Porsches, Porsche people, and events they shaped and which shaped them. Our plan is to share one of Leonard's images with you every other week, and the story behind it, in this newest feature, "The Last Turn" here on FLATSIXES.com.
Other Porsche Blog Posts You Will Enjoy
The Last Turn - Jo Siffert At Sebring In 1971
The Last Turn - Press Intro Of The Porsche 993
The Last Turn - Porsche GT1 Le Mans 1996
How To Get Personal Racing/Driving Tips From Derek Bell
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