Early in 1968, after two non-finishes in Florida, at Daytona and Sebring, Jacky Ickx and Brian Redman overcame Porsche’s challenge in the six-hour BOAC 500 at Brands Hatch.
At the Spa 1,000Km in Belgium, torrential rain allowed Ickx to demonstrate his wet-weather mastery on his home circuit and take a second win for ‘1075’, ably supported by Redman.
Back in the USA, with Ickx now partnered by fellow Belgian Lucien Bianchi, Watkins Glen brought a third win amid controversy about team orders.
With Ickx sidelined by injury, Mexican ace Pedro Rodríguez was drafted in to join Bianchi at Le Mans – and they won comfortably after Porsche’s four-car works challenge collapsed.
The second of three outings in 1969 saw a return to the Sebring 12 Hours and an unexpected success for Ickx and Jackie Oliver against formidable new opposition from Porsche, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari.
And so to Le Mans again: in this old warhorse’s final race Ickx and Oliver again achieved the unexpected by putting themselves in strong contention for victory – but it was only decided on the last lap.
In 1970, Ray joined Autocar, and reported on races and rallies all over the world as Sports Editor, before progressing to become Editor-in-Chief. Since going freelance in the1980s, he has written about cars and the motor industry for newspapers, magazines, and websites worldwide, and is best known for his work at The Sunday Times and Car and Driver magazine in the USA.
The author of several books, his published works include the Centenary History of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA); Jewels in the Crown: How Tata of India transformed Britain’s Jaguar and Land Rover; and Porsche 917, an inter-active i-book.
Ray is honorary president of the international Car of the Year Jury, vice-president of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and an associate member of the British Racing Drivers’ Club. His work has twice won the Guild of Motoring Writers’ Montagu Trophy and the Bentley International Award.