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From the Motor Sport Archive
A clean sweep for Gulf-Porsches
Monza, Italy, April 25th
Long before the day of the race for the 1,000 kilometres of Monza the event was fraught with problems and these continued right up to the Saturday evening when practice finished, but everything turned out all right and the race was a success. During the time that entries were being made Ferrari suggested that chicanes should be put in the two main straights of the Monza road circuit in order to slow the 5-litre Porsche 917 cars. He intended to enter his 3-litre Group 6 Prototype and felt that the fast Monza circuit gave the Porsches an unfair advantage. When Alfa Romeo heard this suggestion they gave it their full support, as their 3-litre Prototypes will not keep pace with the 3-litre Ferrari, let alone the 5-litre Porsches.
However, when Porsche heard about this idea they said, on behalf of JW Gulf and the Martini team, that they would not enter the race if chicanes were built, so the organisers had a problem on their hands. They had ideas for modifying the back straight which involved cutting down a great number of trees but the owners of the Monza Park in which the Autodromo is situated said this could not be done, so there was a bit of a deadlock. Eventually everything was sorted out, the circuit left unchanged and everybody entered, including Ferrari after Regazzoni had unofficially lapped the 312 Prototype at the same speed as Elford's 1970 lap record set up with a 5-litre Porsche. This was in 1 min. 24.8 sec., whereas the GP lap record is still at 1 min. 25.2 sec. set up by Beltoise in 1969 with a Matra-Cosworth V8 and equalled last year by Regazzoni with a 312B Ferrari. However, the Grand Prix clan could take heart from Ickx having got a Ferrari round in practice last year in 1 min. 24.14 sec.