Race of my life: Jacky Ickx on the 1977 Le Mans 24 Hours

As Autosport launches the latest episode in its Race of My Life podcast series, we look at the 1977 Le Mans 24 Hours, which Jacky Ickx selected as his greatest race across his lengthy racing career Car: Porsche 936 One of the characteristics of my career is that it lasted a very long time. I have been through all sorts of possible racing, and always with reasonable success, whether through Can-Am or Formula 2 or F1 or long distance racing, so it is very difficult to single out just one event. If somebody brings you a contract and says, 'Well you are going to win Le Mans, or one time a Formula 1 race', you are nearly ready to sign for it! Finally I chose the 1977 Le Mans, and probably nobody will think about that one because of my other races at Le Mans, such as 1969, which was interesting, or even the Grands Prix at the Nurburgring. The Renaults overtook me and when I handed over to Henri we were in fourth place. I was the reserve driver of the team's other car, and I joined Jurgen Barth and Hurley Haywood in that. They also had a problem at the start and they were in 41st or 42nd position - I don't remember exactly - but so far away from the Renaults that you wouldn't have put a coin on it. So for the first time at Le Mans, we had the possibility to run flat out, without having any conservative attitude, because we had nothing to lose. And it was funny because everybody in the Porsche team felt at that time it was possible to win, even though we were still six laps behind. That night I think I drove two three and a half hours stints non-stop, with just a one-hour break in between. I remember having stopped in the pits and the engineer was saying, 'Do you want to change driver?' Nobody else thought it was possible to run like a maniac for such a long distance. The other two drivers, Jurgen and Hurley, took over because there was a limit on my time. The others took the car to the finish, but we had a scare in the last hour. We had a lead of 19 laps or something, so the mechanics started fixing it, and with 10 minutes to go Jurgen went out, did two very slow laps on five cylinders and we won Le Mans. There are still people in the Porsche team that live that race. Interview by Andy Hallbery, first published in Autosport magazine, 11 October 1990