1973 24 Hours of Daytona – Race Profile and Photo Gallery Page Two
The lone French prototype entry at Daytona was a V-12 Matra-Simca MS670. Although some thought the V-12 was the fastest on the course it qualified second behind the pole sitting Bell/Ganley Mirage. The Matra was to be driven by Francois Cevert, Jean-Pierre Beltoise and Henri Pescarolo. The Mirage prototype of Mike Hailwood and John Watson qualified third and was followed in qualifying by a Ford Cosworth powered Lola T282 driven by Reine Wisell, Jean-Louis Lafosse and Hughes de Fierlant. The Lola, making its racing début, was entered by Scuderia Filipinetti and arrived in the USA virtually untested. The drivers were told to take it easy during the two days of practice and qualifying because they didn’t have a spare engine if anything went wrong.
Rounding up the 3-liter prototype entries were two veteran Porsche 908s. One was a Lufthansa-sponsored 908/03 entered and driven by Reinhold Joest who would co-drive with Mario Casoni and Paul Blancpain. Their team motto should have been, “If we didn’t have bad luck, we would have no luck at all.” The car was delayed at the Port of Jacksonville, stuck in a ship’s cargo hold until late on Thursday. As a result they missed the first day of practice and qualifying. During the second day (Friday) the car caught fire but the damage was repairable. The result of the fire was that they were unable to qualify when the session ended on Friday. Last but not least of the traditional prototypes was a Porsche 908/02 entered and driven by Canadian Harry Bytzek with co-drivers Rudy Bartling and Bert Kuehne. They qualified fifth on the grid.