In 1971 Ferrari developed a remarkable sports racing car for the new three liter engine size limitation. Like its predecessor it was initially called the 312P, the P standing for prototype. However, to differentiate the new car from the earlier 312P with its V-12 motor it was soon called, at least informally, the 312PB. The letter B indicated that it was fitted with a sports car version of Ferrari’s new 180° flat 12 cylinder three liter “boxer” F1 motor which lowered the entire car’s center of gravity. Over the next three seasons these 312PB sports racers, really thinly disguised F1 cars, would see substantial success including winning the Championship for Makes in 1972.
Seen above is the most successful of the Ferrari 312PBs shown in the famous Karussell “ditch” on its way to victory at the Nürburgring during the 1000 Km. race there on May 27, 1973. At the wheel is Briton Brian Redman who shared the driving duties with his Belgian teammate Jacky Ickx. At the finish they would lead the second place 312PB by only 1/10th of a second in an arranged finish with the third place Chevron-Ford over two minutes behind. Their closest competitors, the two Matra-Simca MS670s and the two Alfa Romeo T33 TT 12s, all retired.
The Redman/Ickx 312PB had already had an illustrious career, winning a pair of 1000 Km. races in 1972 and in 1973 winning again in the 1000 Km. race at Monza a month ago, also with Redman and Ickx. Here again is Redman in a pit stop during the Nürburgring race with Ickx at the right in the dark helmet.
Today it appears that nine of the 312PBs still exist, with the car seen here being part of an important Swiss collection.
Photos from the JJF Archive ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com
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