Snapshot, 1971: It never rains, but it pours Martini

It’s April 1971, and during a soggy practice for tomorrow’s Monza 1000km, Vic Elford is taking refuge from the downpour in his Porsche 917k…

The rain is of no concern to 'Quick Vic', however – he’s simply using the downtime to compose himself and suss out how he’s going to upset the fiercely loyal tifosi on their own patch. Besides, Monza is a short lap, so he can leave it a little longer than usual until he heads out. When he does eventually get a clean lap in, it’s a good one. So good, in fact, that he knocks the Ferrari 312PB of Jacky Ickx and Clay Regazzoni off the pole position. Elford won’t be so lucky tomorrow, though, when he’ll retire with throttle issues. But, as they say, every Italian rain cloud has a silver lining – the race tomorrow will take place under glorious spring sunshine, and Vic Elford will be able to watch it all from wherever he pleases, preferably while sipping a Martini.

Photo: R. W. Schlegelmilch via Getty Images