Two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Vic Elford passed away after a battle with cancer at the age of 86. Known as “Quick Vic’” the English racer drove for Porsche for 5 years and competed in Formula One, European rally racing, World Sportscar Championship, CanAm and NASCAR.
“Vic Elford was truly an icon,” said three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Hurley Haywood. “He was loved by many. His accomplishments were unmatched, and he will be greatly missed by all.”
Elford made eight starts at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, six in a Porsche, and was a 2-time class winner, 1967 and 1973. While piloting a 1970 Porsche 917 LH he became the first driver to set an average lap at Circuit de la Sarthe (Le Mans) above 150 mph.
With a diverse racing resume, Elford won the 1968 Rally Monte Carlo, 84 Hour “Marathon de la Route” in 1967, and drove in 13 F1 races.
“His achievements on track are simply staggering – I grew up in awe of him, as many of us at Porsche did – yet it will be his warmth, his kindness and decency that will remembered most by the colleagues who knew him well,” said Kjell Gruner, president and CEO of Porsche Cars North America.
In 1972, Elford was named Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite by French President Georges Pompidou. The honor was awarded to Elford after he stopped to help a fellow driver from a burning car during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Elford was chosen by Steve McQueen to drive a Porsche 917 during high-speed close-up driving sequences for the movie Le Mans.
Elford is survived by his wife, Anita.
“My thoughts are with Anita and everyone who knew Vic,” said Porsche factory driver Patrick Long. “I’m so sad he’s gone.”