Jacky Ickx – four-time winner in Le Mans
Belgian-born Jacky Ickx was one of Porsche’s most successful racing drivers of all time, winning four of his six starts for the team in Le Mans. His best performance in the Formula One World Championship was a second-place finish.
Jacky Ickx made a big impression on Porsche with his great feel for racing cars, knowing what they were capable of while never taking his eyes off the ultimate prize. Ickx ensured that he was ideally prepared for races, boasting high levels of concentration and remarkable speed, and quickly became the undisputed number-one driver in the Porsche team. In 1976, 1977, 1981 and 1982, he took Porsche to victory in the classic 24-hour endurance race.
Jacky Ickx was born on 1 January 1945 as the son of a Belgian motorsport journalist. He progressed from Formula Two to Formula One and finished as runner-up for Ferrari in 1970 behind the late Jochen Rindt, who was posthumously declared World Champion after suffering a fatal accident in Monza. ‘Back then, I thought the world belonged to me alone,’ explained Ickx. ‘I risked things that I would never have done later.’ Ickx subsequently changed his driving style: ‘I only attempted to overtake where this was truly feasible and stopped trying to achieve the impossible.’
Driving the Porsche 956 in the Group C era, Ickx won the World Endurance Championship in 1982 and 1983. Ickx won a total of 49 races in the World Endurance Championship, more than any other driver in the history of endurance racing.
After winning the 1983 Paris–Dakar Rally in a Mercedes G-Class, he was able to convince Porsche to take on the desert rally. While Ickx organised the entries and attracted the sponsors, Porsche provided cars and technicians under the leadership of race director Peter Falk. Ickx started this marathon event for Porsche between 1984 and 1986 as both team boss and driver, concluding his career with the team by taking second place in the Paris–Dakar Rally.