There was a time when Ferrari dominated sports car racing . It happened until about 50 years ago, right before Ford had introduced the Le Mans-winning GT40 and Porsche dominated the tracks with the iconic 917 . Two years after the latter began dominating endurance events, Ferrari had abandoned sports car racing to focus on Formula One. It was 1973, and the Ferrari 312PB had retired as the company’s last prototype racer.
Although eclipsed by many racers of the day, the 312PB managed to achieve 15 wins in 72 events. Powered by a flat-12 engine based on the 3.0-liter Formula One unit, the Italian sports car made a name for itself by winning prestigious events. Its trophy case includes the 1000km Buenos Aires, Daytona 6 Hours, Sebring 12 Hours, 1000km Nurburgring , and the Targa Florio, among others. The list of drivers that hopped in its cockpit is equally impressive and features the likes of Jacky Ickx, Brian Redman, Ronnie Peterson and Mario Andretti. That’s a lineup full of skilled and race-winning aces right there.
Sure, it’s not the most beautiful Ferrari ever built, but the 312PB was not conceived to win beauty contests. It’s main goal was to win races and, for the most part, it succeeded. It was renowned for its precise handling and quickly became a crowd pleaser due to its piercing exhaust note. Thankfully enough, some of the few 312PBs ever built have been stored and maintained for the past 40 years, so we can see and hear them race once again. Thanks to Petrolicious and Steven Read, we can do that at the push of button. Just hit play and don’t be shy with the volume, you’re in for a real treat.