Daytona 1968 – breakthrough on steep banks
With the Porsche 907, Porsche was able to fight for overall victory in the Manufacturers’ World Championship for the first time in 1968. The brand even secured a triple victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona.
As technical director at Porsche, Ferdinand Piëch had a whole series of new racing cars built: the 910 and 907, later followed by the 908, 909 and 917. For the 1968 Manufacturers’ World Championship, the Porsche 907 was given one of two eight-cylinder engines with an enlarged capacity of 2.2 litres as well as a long tail for the season opener in Daytona. Thanks to an air resistance coefficient of only 0.27, the 907 with 270 hp could now reach a speed of up to 300 km/h. In the previous year, Hans Herrmann and Jo Siffert had taken fourth place in the overall standings at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida with the Porsche 910, the predecessor of the 907.
Even in training, only the two Gulf Ford GT40s in John Wyer’s team were faster than the four white 907s from Stuttgart. However, both Ford cars dropped out of the race. Three of the four Porsche cars drove in formation over the finishing line after 24 hours, Taking the top three places. Only the car driven by Gerhard Mitter and Hans Herrmann retires after an accident. Herrmann was still able to win. With his eyes set on victory, racing manager Huschke had the idea of putting as many drivers as possible on the leading car of Vic Elford and Rolf Stommelen. This meant that the winners were recorded as Vic Elford, Jochen Neerpasch, Rolf Stommelen, Jo Siffert and Hans Herrmann. ‘According to the history books, they were all winners,’ says senior race engineer Peter Falk, explaining the decision. This was the first success for Porsche at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida, and it was to be followed by many more.
The Porsche 907 also won the Targa Florio. In the 1968 Manufacturers’ World Championship, Porsche was narrowly beaten by Ferrari after eight races. Its first major triumph in this championship came a year later.