Porsche at the 1960 Tour de Corse
In 1960, Herbert Linge and Paul-Ernst Strähle guided the 356 B 1600 GS Carrera GT Coupé to Porsche’s first-ever overall victory at the Rally of Corsica.
The 1960 motorsport season was an overwhelming triumph for Porsche. With overall victories in Sebring and in the Targa Florio, the Zuffenhausen-based sports car manufacturer won two races in the prestigious World Supercar Championship for the first time. The company also enjoyed significant success in the rally events held that year.
At the fifth edition of the Tour de Corse, which was held from 5 to 8 November 1960, Herbert Linge and Paul-Ernst Strähle steered the 356 B 1600 GS Carrera GT Coupé to Porsche’s first-ever overall victory at the demanding circuit on the Mediterranean island of Corsica.
Boasting a route with a very high number of corners that wound their way across difficult mountainous terrain, the Tour de Corse quickly became known as the ‘Ten Thousand Turns Rally’. Herbert Linge still has vivid memories of this rally, which formed part of the French and German Rally Championship: ‘At a length of 1,282 kilometres, it was one of the toughest rally events around and one of the most interesting to drive. It showed off the wild beauty of this island to its full extent and featured everything you could want from a long-distance contest.’
The winding nature of the circuit posed a considerable challenge for drivers and materials alike, which was especially apparent in the high levels of tyre wear at the 1960 event. The asphalt was very rugged and was also in poor condition in certain sections, which placed an extremely high level of stress on the tyres. This made tyre changes all but essential for cars that were ultimately targeting victory.
The 356 B 1600 GS Carrera GT was no exception. Herbert Linge clarifies just how significant a factor this was: ‘Despite using belted tyres, we were forced to change both rear wheels after 700 kilometres. To put that in context, back then we were able to complete the 1,000-kilometre race at the Nürburgring on a single set of tyres without any difficulty.’