Vic “Quick Vic” Elford passed away this weekend after a battle against cancer, during his career he drove a number of iconic Porsche’s, including the 917 LH, in which he became the first driver to complete an average lap of Circuit de la Sarthe above 150 mph.
Aside from his results in racing, he was also named Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite by French President Georges Pompidou. an honour bestowed on him for his efforts in the 1972 24 Hours of Le Mans when he stopped on track to assist a fellow driver from a burning car.
A longtime driving coach, Elford also wrote two books: The Porsche High Performance Driving Handbook and Reflections on a Golden Era in Motorsport.
“We have stayed close to Vic and Anita, particularly in recent years, and while we knew Vic was ill, the loss is still felt acutely – we send our sincere condolences to Anita and to the whole family. His achievements on track are simply staggering – I grew up in awe of him, as many of us at Porsche did – yet it will be his warmth, his kindness and decency that will remembered most by the colleagues who knew him well.” said Kjell Gruner, President and CEO, Porsche Cars North America.
Volker Holzmeyer, President and CEO, Porsche Motorsport North America added, “I’m desperately sad to hear this news. We have lost one of the all-time greats from our motorsport community. At Porsche we’re often described as a family – but in motorsport especially so.
“On behalf of every one of us at Porsche Motorsport North America we want to express our profound sadness at this news. Vic was – and will always be – a hero to us. Our immediate thoughts are with his family and his friends at this time.”
American racing legend Hurley Haywood, added his thoughts on Elford, “Vic Elford was truly an icon. He was loved by many. His accomplishments were unmatched, and he will be greatly missed by all. Vic and I became friends later in his career. We never raced against each other, but I respected the man greatly.
“I feel terrible for Anita. She was his right hand man. She, his family and his friends are all in my thoughts. Anita is a strong woman and I take some comfort in knowing she will succeed in her next step.”
Long time Porsche works driver Patrick Long got to know Elford during his time with Porsche, “As a factory Porsche driver, I got to know Vic quite well – at first, I was a in awe just to be in his presence. Quickly– his direct approach and immense humility immediately made you feel at ease.
“Always upbeat, it was such a treat to hear Vic tell stories of his legendary journeys with a massive smile. I will always be grateful for the fun we had, his encouragement and the kindness he showed me. My thoughts are with Anita and everyone who knew Vic. I’m so sad he’s gone.”