5/7/2021

One final lap.

When the crowd of assembled journalists, sports reporters and photographers jostled for position early one Sunday afternoon at Le Mans in 1977, a photo was taken that captured a moment between hope and despair.

 

At the centre of this throng were Wolfgang Berger, Porsche 936 Project Manager, and driver, Jürgen Barth. At this point, the car with start number 4 had just completed an unprecedented overnight pursuit. First place on the podium was now within reach, but the car was forced to make a pit stop. The diagnosis: cylinder failure! The engine was only firing on five instead of six cylinders.

 

The car spent a full hour in the pit lane. Then came the verdict: it would have to complete one – or maximum two – final lap(s) of the circuit on just five cylinders. According to the rules, it had to be driven across the finish line. Then, and only then, would the Porsche be victorious at Le Mans in 1977, thereby creating another motorsport legend ...

 

At this point, the outcome was still uncertain. But the crowd were on hand to capture the imminent result.

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