The 1970 Canadian-American Challenge Cup season was the fifth season of the Can-Am auto racing series. The season began only a few days after the death of defending champion Bruce McLaren. McLaren had been testing the new M8D for his Can-Am team when he was killed. The team would continue on without their founder, eventually winningall but one race in the season and earning New Zealander Denny Hulme his second championship.
Round three of the 1970 Can-Am season took place on Sunday, July 12th at Watkins Glen.
On Saturday of the same weekend, Watkins Glen hosted the 9th Round of the World Sportscar Championship, which explains why so many WSC drivers and cars ended up at the Can-Am race. (Pedro Rodriguez won the race).
1970 Can-Am at Watkins Glen – Top Ten:
- Denny Hulme, McLaren M8D
- Jo Siffert, Porsche 917K
- Richard Attwood, Porsche 917K
- Vic Elford, Porsche 917K
- Mario Andretti, Ferrari 512S
- Gijs van Lennep, Porsche 917K
- Brian Redman, Porsche 917K
- Bobby Brown, McLeagle M6B
- Dan Gurney, McLaren M6B
- Gerard Larrousse, Porsche 908/02
Other names of note include Jo Bonnier, Bob Bondurant, Dave Causey, Peter Revson, Pedro Rodriguez, Jackie Stewart and Jacky Ickx.
Enjoy these exceptional Can-Am photographs, including the Denny Hulme’s dominating McLaren M8D, Jackie Stewart’s Chaparral 2J “Sucker Car” and the Porsche 917K and Ferrari 512S endurance cars.
1970 Can-Am at Watkins Glen – Photo Gallery (click image for larger picture and description)
I attended that race. It was one of the most exciting I have ever seen. I don’t remember why, but toward the end of the race, Hulme was leading but slightly off his pace. Siffert began to reel him in in his 917, and with a few laps to go, Siffert was on the tail of the McLaren, looking for a way around. The race ended before Siffert could find a way around Hulme, but it was a harbinger of things to come. Things like the 917/10 and 917/30.
Great story. Thanks for sharing. You are right about things to come, especially when you consider Siffert was racing a 917 prepared for endurance racing. Once Porsche began modifying their cars for shorter races, it was all by over.
Were you able to attend the World Sportscar Championship 6-Hour race on Saturday as well? I believe Pedro Rodriguez won it in a 917.
I was there back in 70′. I look back on it now as one of the high points of my life. Seeing the 6hr WSC on Saturday and the Can-Am on Sunday was fantastic. I can’t think of another time in auto racing history when so much could be taken in over one weekend. From the Jim Hall and the Chaparral 2J to the Wyer Porsche 917s,from Mark Donuhue to D. Humme, Petter Revson to Jackie Stewart, there was a special feeling surrounding me the whole weekend. I now realize that it was a time that would never come again.
That was an amazing weekend and we’re jealous of those that took part in it. What a memory that must be…thanks for sharing.
I just turned 15 years old and this race weekend was my first of many trips to Watkins Glen. It was a spectacular weekend of now legendary cars, I’ll never forget the sights and sounds I experienced that July weekend.
What were the modifications made to the endurance cars to make them Can Am legal ?? I know of covered headlights and rear tire cover-flaps , but was there anything else done?
Thanks for any information