Morning Qualifying – Can-Am…azing edition

Richard Attwood's Porsche 917 leads Cliff Apel's McLaren and Derek Bell's Porsche at Watkins Glen, 1971. Photo by Dave Friedman

In July of 1971, Watkins Glen hosted, on the same weekend, the final race of the 1971 International Championship for Makes, the Watkins Glen 6 Hours, and round 4 of the Canadian American Challenge Cup.   Since Porsche, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari had already spent the money to ship their 917Ks, T33/3s and 512Ms to the US, it was decided that the cream of the European sports car world should try their hands against the FIA Group 7 monsters of McLaren, Shadow and Lola.  The result was one of most eclectic and star-studded grids in Can-Am’s history.

Vic Elford's Porsche 917 leads Tony Adamowicz's McLaren M8B during the 1971 Can-Am race at Watkins Glen. Photo by Bill Oursler/Copyright The Speed Merchants Collection

Rather than give you a tidy summation of events and some documentary footage of the race, Morning Qualifying presents the actual, television broadcast of the race, as it appeared on July 25, 1971, with Jeff Scott, the BBC’s Tony Moy and pit reporter Alan Sloan.  So, sit back, relax, get that extra cup of coffee, close the door to you office and enjoy 90 minutes of  Can-Am racing in the manner of your Barcalounging, polyester wearing, wood-panel den inhabiting hoon-fathers.











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  1. Tripl3fast Avatar

    The Gulf Oil commerical at the beginning was sweet. Long live the cult of Gulf blue and orange!!

  2. vwminispeedster Avatar

    Well, there goes my utilization for the day. 🙂

  3. AndyS Avatar

    Note that the Blue/White #31 917 of Elford in the top picture is from 1970, not 1971. The Salzberg team had been disbanded and the cars repainted in Martini Colors between the two seasons.
    The 1970 entries were nominally entered under Porsche-Audi North America, from what I recall.

  4. Uh, Clem Avatar
    Uh, Clem

    In the late seventies I found a small ad in the back of a magazine from someone selling video tapes of the original broadcast of two 1971 Can Am races. The video of the Watkins Glen race posted here appears to be a copy of one of them. The other tape was of the Mid Ohio race. The broadcast started late because the show before ran long so we don't get to see the original Shadow since it was already out of the race.

  5. Peter Diepenbroek Avatar
    Peter Diepenbroek

    First picture: Not Richard Attwood but Gijs van Lennep from the Netherlands.
    "Unnecessarily obscure" as Janos Wimpffen wrote about Gijs in his book "Winged Sports Cars".
    Van Lennep was as good as Attwood, Siffert, Rodrigues and Bell.

  6. Gil Harp Avatar
    Gil Harp

    Thanks so much for posting this. I was there (age 15) for both races with my dad. My second Can-Am and first World Manu Champ. Wonderful memories.

    1. Tom Kinney Avatar
      Tom Kinney

      Same here. The Six Hours as well. Great memories

  7. mcsporran Avatar

    somebody ballsed up on copyright/?????