Among endurance racers, Mexican ace Pedro Rodriguez doesn’t really get his due. In fact, there’s never been a Jalopnik article solely dedicated to the man. But Rodriguez had a special talent. He knew how to drive in the rain. Like really well. And that’s what this blog is all about.
Thanks to Luc Ghys on Youtube, we’ve got some original coverage of the 1970 BOAC 1000 in its wet. and rainy glory to watch today. It’s a real stunner of a race.
It was the third race of the 1970 World Sportscar Championship and the circuit was wet at Brands Hatch in Kent, England. Very wet. Ferrari and Porsche were at each other’s throats, with Jacky Ickx behind the wheel of the mighty 512S from Maranello and Rodriguez one of many Porsche privateers. After one win for Rodriguez and Porsche at Daytona and one for Ferrari at Sebring, the competition was hot.
The track at Brands Hatch, though, was not. Sopping rain made this race a mess. Those vital windshield wipers couldn’t cut it on Ickx’s Ferrari. He had to come in for repairs. New Zealander Chris Amon driving the other factory Ferrari found himself with wet electrical systems and a flat. Still, with a fifth-place finish, he managed to edge out the rest of the Ferraris.
Above fifth? All Porsche. The 917s and one plucky 908/20 driven by Finn Hans Laine filled the podium and fourth place too. And at the top was Pedro Rodriguez, blue and orange Gulf livery still stunning in the rainy day grey light.
Rodriguez managed to keep his 917 in check even if he had to get sideways from time to time to stay planted. It’s a tremendous display of talent from an all-time driver, and we’ll have to hear about more of his exploits in weeks to come.