The golden era of sportscar racing, 1962-73, rolled out before you in Rainer Schlegelmilch’s work, Sportscar Racing 1962-1973
From 1962-73 is a rather specific era of sportscar racing for Rainer Schlegelmilch to focus on, considering he dedicated over half a century’s worth of snaps to his other recently released work, 50 Years of Formula 1 Photography. That is until we consider just what, and who, was competing during this period.
While the likes of Ferrari and Porsche still compete at the top level, legendary makes such as Matra – though sadly no longer with us – left their own indelible mark on the World Sportscar Championship scene. Indeed, while Ferrari, Porsche and Ford dominated the 24 Hours of Le Mans during the 1960s, Matra took three wins back-to-back from 1972-74 with variants of the MS670.
Then there’s the array of competition-spanking machines that made their presence felt like a sledgehammer to the temple on-track, such as the Porsche 917, the Ford GT40 (Ford’s two-fingered salute to Enzo Ferrari that romped to victory at La Sarthe four years in a row from 1966-69), and the Ferrari 250 LM.
Plus, in an era when competing in a different motorsport discipline wouldn’t have you hauled before the team boss (though Robert Kubica’s rally accident in 2011 that leaves a question mark over his F1 future reminds us what can happen), topline greats such as Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Phil Hill, Clay Regazzoni, Jochen Rindt, Bruce McLaren and Mario Andretti would regularly throw down at Le Mans, the Nurburgring and Spa-Francorchamps. And let’s not forget that Steve McQueen did his bit for sportscars in 1971, with the release of Le Mans. By the way, if you’re after a vintage McQueen poster…
A very specific focus for Schlegelmilch’s latest work then, certainly, but with 537 pages of the hardback fit to bursting with original high res images and on the ground atmosphere. By now, with crankandpiston recommendations aplenty, your motorsport library will be getting pretty stuffed.
There’s always room for one more though.
– Shots courtesy of Frechmann Kolón