Flat out at the 1983 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Porsche 956

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As you get ready to spend a 24-hour chunk of your weekend watching a varied assortment of cars racing around a circuit in the middle of France, enjoy this video of a flying lap from more than three decades ago.

The scene is the 1983 24 Hours of Le Mans and doing the driving is racing legend Derek Bell. He’s behind the wheel of the #1 Rothmans Porsche 956, competing in the premier class at the time.

It’s raw racing at its best, and even today it manages to get the heart pumping, especially when you see Bell heading down Mulsanne Straight at speeds well in excess of 200 mph.

Bell, together with another legend of motorsport, Jacky Ickx, finished second overall. They lost out to their sister car, the #3 Rothmans Porsche 956, driven by Hurley Haywood, Al Holbert and Vern Schuppan.

Porsche has now won the 24 Hours of Le Mans 17 times, which is more than any other team. An 18th win is in sight as Porsche’s 919 Hybrids have secured the first two spots on the grid for this weekend’s race.

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