Before we get in to this latest ‘How to drive…’ clip there is need to clear up a couple of things. Firstly, there is an error in the title which suggests that the driver of the camera car is the late, great Stefan Bellof and that he is driving a 956. Bellof was indeed driving a 956, which can be seen at the start of the clip (it’s the predominantly blue car on the right as the field approaches La Source) being driven at the time by Thierry Boutsen, but the camera car is a works 962C. Secondly, it was later in this race that Bellof and Jacky Ickx (who by then were driving the blue 956 and the camera car, respectively) collided at Eau Rouge. The resulting accident tragically took Bellof’s life.
At the start of the clip Goodwood regular Jochen Mass is at the helm of the camera car, and he puts on a first-class display. After a strong start in which he gets past three cars by Les Combes he sets about harrying the other works 962C before slipping past again at Les Combes after carrying more speed through Eau Rouge. With the Porsches out of the way he has the gorgeous, pole-sitting Lancia LC2 in his sights.
As ever, I’ll stop short of giving a full commentary and leave it to you to enjoy the clip. What stayed with me though wasn’t just the way Herr Mass cajoled and finessed the car into seeing things his way, but also the brutal nature of the 962C. For all its on-track success it seems like a heavy handful of a car to drive. The power and the noise from the turbo’d flat six on the straights contrasting with the sound of the front tyres scrubbing through the slower corners is just wonderful. And as for the way it’s attacking the kerbs …
Maybe it’s the camera angle, or the quality of the sound, but somehow this footage just feels so raw. It manages to give the impression that you’re actually sat there in the car watching Jochen Mass do his thing at the neck-end of 200mph. We’ve unearthed another classic here, even if at almost 10 minutes it might be too long to watch in your tea break.
It’s certainly put us in the mood for seeing some of these incredible Group C machines live at the 73rd Member’s Meeting.