Just over a week ago, Leh Keen and Cooper MacNeil stormed to a class victory in their shared 1974 911 RSR during the Le Mans Classic event. Just less than a month after MacNeil teamed with Jeroen Bleekemolen to take a fantastic 5th in class at Le Mans proper, he was back at La Sarthe, and this time brought 'Screamin' Lehman' to hot shoe along side. Leh, as all good racers do, has released a few video laps from his stint at the track.
For anyone who has ever thought that contemporary racers aren't as good as those of yesteryear because they've got luxuries like ABS, traction control, and sequential manual gearboxes, you really need to watch this video. Mr. Keen is no soft-soled gentleman driver, he's a pro that certainly knows how to push all of the buttons of a vintage racing car, and his skills definitely shine through in these few laps in a 911 RSR at Le Mans Classic.
A few things are immediately apparent in this video:
1. Judicious use of mirrors is imperative when you are on track with multiple millions of dollars in machinery surrounding you. Some of the faster guys seem to appear out of nowhere.
2. A 1974 911 RSR can be quicker than a 935 in the hands of a great driver like Leh. The guy in the blue 935 seems to lose a ton of time to Leh when the road gets a little bit twisty. With more downforce and a ton more power, that car should be screaming ahead.
3. Leh is a tall guy, and the 911's interior might be just a little cramped for his frame. Be sure to check out how close that dash bar is to his knees!
4. This 1974 race car looks awfully similar to any 1974 Porsche 911 street car. Everything from the shifter assembly to the gauge cluster looks pretty close to what you could get in the dealership showroom. Even the original dashpad appears to be retained.
5. At just after the 15:00 minute mark of the video, Leh is shown taking a night practice lap in the car in the rain. The car seems to get a little squirrely in the wet stuff, but Leh manages to impress with some great driving, keeping it on the road, and even pushing the envelope a bit.
6. It gets REALLY dark out there on the Mulsanne straight at night when you're all alone.
Turn up the volume, kick the video out to full-screen, sit back in a relaxing chair, and watch/listen to 21 minutes and 9 seconds of pure 1974 racing. With all of that vintage machinery on track, you'd swear you were just transported back in time.
Other Porsche Blog Posts You Will Enjoy
Leh Keen And His Father Commission A Beautiful Rauh-Welt 993
Leh Keen’s Rain Dance at the 24 Hours Nürburgring
Video Interview with Leh Keen after “Rain Dance”
Thekparksvanphu.info’s Great Driver Series: Andrew Davis and Leh Keen
Photos: Zachary Miller