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Stars of the silver screen set for Festival of Porsche

Friday, September 19 2014

Two of the men behind Steve McQueen's cult classic 1971 film Le Mans will be at the Brands Hatch Festival of Porsche on 21 September.

Racing drivers Richard Attwood and Derek Bell both contributed to the production of the movie Le Mans, which began shortly after the 1970 24 Hours Race. Attwood was ideally placed to advise the crew, having just won the French endurance classic in a Porsche 917, the film's star car, with Hans Herrmann. The Brit had been a star of Porsche's works outfit since the start of the previous season and had racked up countless racing miles in 917s and 908s, sharing cars with Porsche legends such as Jo Siffert and Pedro Rodriguez.

Bell made his Le Mans debut that season with Ferrari so was able to offer perspective on Porsche's fiercest rivals and the film's 'villains'. He would later go on to drive the iconic John Wyer Gulf-liveried machines, as featured so heavily in the film.

McQueen's film was action-heavy, featuring little or no dialogue for long periods, and used a great deal of footage from the 1970 Le Mans race, captured by a Porsche 908 entered by the studio. Subsequently filmed action sequences featured professional racing drivers Attwood and Bell and others, and of course Steve McQueen, driving at speed in a combination of genuine Porsches and Ferraris, and cheaper Lola T70s dressed up to resemble Porsches and Ferraris.

The use of genuine race footage and professional drivers in real racing cars has ensured the film remains a favourite with petrolheads, as it offers a realism rarely seen in modern cinema.

Attwood and Bell both remain enthusiastic members of the Porsche community and there will be opportunities to meet both at Brands Hatch on Sunday. Derek will be signing autographs at 11:00 and 12:30, so if you fancy asking him something a bit different, you can question him about the time he worked with Steve McQueen.

Tickets for Festival of Porsche will be available to purchase from the main gate. For more information click here. Under 13s go free.