Pedro’s Greatest Race?

Pedro Rodriguez, klemcoll, Porsche

On April 12, 1970 the BOAC 1000Km. Race, counting for the world championship for sports cars, was held at Brands Hatch, located in Kent south of London. Here is the Porsche 917K which was entered by John Weir’s team on behalf of Porsche and driven by Pedro Rodriguez and Leo Kinnunen. Their Porsche is shown going through the fast Paddock hill Bend which had a blind entry from the front straight as it swept right and downhill.

At the front this race was to be a Ferrari 512S versus Porsche 917K affair. In qualifying the Ferraris were easily a bit faster and took the two top positions with the Chris Amon/Arturo Merzario 512S on pole. But race day provided a far more demanding challenge with the rain coming down hard as it had all night.

The race  got under way at last after some exploratory laps which showed only that dry tires would be impossible. There were several spins right away and waving yellow flags. Due to the heavy rain and spray Rodriguez who had started his Porche from seventh grid position was seen to overtake a few cars under yellow flags, and received a black flag which he ignored for several laps. Finally Rodriguez came into the pits where he received a substantial talking to before storming out again, now well down the field.

At this point Rodriguez drove as if he were possessed. By lap 20 he was in the lead and lapping five seconds faster than any other Pedro Rodriguez, Porsche, klemcollcar. After another 10 laps he was half a lap in front. The photo here shows Rodriguez using all the road in the terrible conditions. Having made a stop and then continuing, Rodriguez was two laps in the lead after 100 of the 235 lap race. Another half hour went by and Kinnunen took over as the weather improved.

Rodriguez eventually got back in again and increased his lead to a full five laps which was the margin of victory for the Wyer-entered 917K over the two Porsche Salzburg 917Ks. On this day no matter how good his rivals might be Pedro Rodriguez was doing something at another level.

Photos by Nigel Snowdon ©The Klemantaski Collection –

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