porsche718rs60For the 1960 season the FIA made changes to the regulation regarding the windscreen and cockpit size. These rules changes together with a larger (1.6 litre) Type 547/3 engine, developing 160 horsepower (120 kW) and a new double wishbone rear suspension brought about the RS 60 model. The RS 60 brought Porsche victory at the 1960 12 Hours of Sebring with a car driven by Hans Herrmann andOlivier Gendebien. 1960 also saw Porsche win the Targa Florio with Hans Herrmann being joined on the winnner podium by Jo Bonnier and Graham Hill. The RS 60 also ensured that Porsche successfully defended their European Hill Climb Championship for the third year in a row. After 50 years passed, Porsche manufactured limited series of 1960 cars and named it Boxster RS60 to celebrate legendary RS60 victories of last century.

For 1960 the rules for sports cars were modified, dictating a considerably wider cockpit and taller windshield. Reluctantly, Porsche adopted the RSK to the new regulations. The frame was widened and the wheelbase slightly lengthened. The rear suspension was modified once more and the swing axles were now gone completely, replaced by a more modern double wishbone layout. For the first time the 1.6 litre engine was also offered to customers, producing 160 bhp compared to the 150 of the Type 547/3. The new machine was known as the RS 60 Spyder and the subsequent 1961 cars were dubbed RS 61 Spyder, although they were identical. Porsche also developed a coupe version and a similar, but open car known as the W-RS. These cars had even larger two-litre engines and eventually fitted with an eight cylinder engine the W-RS was raced successfully well into 1964.

Despite being based on a car that debuted in 1956, the RS 60 Spyder again proved to be a giant slayer. The international racing debut came at the 1960 Sebring 12 Hours. Reminiscant of the 550A’s early performance, the RS 60 took an amazing one-two victory in the 12 Hour event. Next up was a win at the Targa Florio and Porsche looked well on their way to winning the World Championship against the three-litre engined Ferraris. A second and fourth at the ‘Ring must have felt like a disappointment. Le Mans certainly was disappointing with the highest placed RS 60 finished twelfth and second in class. Porsche and Ferrari had both scored 22 points, but Ferrari was awarded the title on the grounds that they had finished third more often than Porsche. In 1961, the Porsches had to make do with class wins as the Works concentrated on the Grand Prix program.

Although in heavily modified form, the first Porsche spaceframe chassis was raced successful for almost ten years, taking a Targa Florio win as late as 1963. These nimble racing cars lifted Porsche up from a class victory contender to a serious rival to racing greats. They were certainly instrumental in the company’s long path to the much desired Le Mans win and all cars designed in the 1960s incorporated the lessons learned in the many years the 550A, RSK and RS Spyders were raced.

After a successful year, Porsche continued to offer the RS 60 and changed its name to the RS 61. Completely identical in specification to the RS 60, it raced alongside the W-RS which had a more extended nose. In 1963, the factory released detailed documents on how to upgrade the Type 547/4 and Type 547/5 and gain an increase of about 10 bhp.

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