Petrolicious Brings a Porsche 718 RS60, Derek Bell to the Targa Florio
Three legends combine for an epic drive through Sicily
In the history of motorsports, certain races established the groundwork for the state of modern racing, with a combination legendary drivers, exotic locations, and iconic cars. On the newest episode of Petrolicious, the team documents five-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell as he navigates the "800" corners on the Targa Florio route in Sicily. Lucky for him, it's all behind the wheel of a 1960 Porsche 718 RS60.
Standing alone, each of the three monumental figures in this film are worth an individual video. First, we have Derek Bell. He was crucial in establishing Porsche as a dominant Le Mans presence in the 1970's and 1980's, when he won five separate times in cars like the Porsche 935, the 956, and the indomitable Porsche 962. He claimed victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona three times, the Nurburgring 1000-km, and the World Sportscar Championship twice.
Surely, a renowned driver needs a renowned car. Porsche rolled out one of its all-time greats, the 1960 Porsche 718 RS60. The 718 was the evolution of the immortal Porsche 550 Spyder, and featured a modified layout of the 550, including a variant of the four-cam flat-four engine in the rear. 160 horsepower from the 1.6-liter engine pulled around just 1,260 pounds, resulting in a highly competitive car despite the relatively small engine displacement.
Finally, Bell meets the 718 RS60 at the start of the fabled Targa Florio road circuit in the mountains of Sicily, where the race was held from 1906 until its discontinuation in 1977. The race saw victories from racing icons like Stirling Moss, Graham Hill, Wolfgang von Trips, and Vic Elford. The race stretched between a varied distance of 45 miles and a full tour of the island at 670 miles. In 1977, exponentially increasing speeds and a disturbing lack of safety equipment and barriers spelled the discontinuation of the race for good.
In the video, Bell waxes poetic on his first outing on both the Targa Florio 45-mile short course and the Florio-winning 1960 718 RS60, while we are treated to lengthy clips of both the car and the driver in action. In the end, the 718 RS60 comes face-to-face with the new 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster on the Targa Florio, tying the new Boxster in with its mythical namesake.
Take a look at the video below to see the three legends intersect.