|The Porsche 917 made its first appearance in 1969. It was powered by a Flat-12 engine.
To begin with, the 917's chassis was from the 908, but strengthened and enlarged for the 12 cylinger engine.
Its exact displacement came to 4494cc. |
In 1970, Gulf-Wyer took the reigns as the forefront 917 team, even though Porsche still had its own racer, as well
as Martini's first 917 team.
They took LeMans by storm, sweeping the field 1-2-3. It won every race in 1970 except for 3; Sebring, the Targa, and Nurburgring.
The legendary LeMans race first began in 1923 and remains one of the most prestigious auto races in the world. A challenging 24 hour race, LeMans is one of the three races that form the Triple Crown of endurance racing.
By 1971, it was just too out of reach for anyone, and the 917's won every race held.
Porsche stepped up the displacement to the 5.0L limit! with 630 bhp, the 917 was just creeping farther and farther out of reach.
1971 marked the end to the Group 4 racing, as 5.0 Liter cars would not be eligible in 1972.
Porsche took out the 5.0 Liter engine and further fortified it with a big turbocharger which boosted to 20psi.
Now called the 917/10, it unleashed 1000 horsepower in the competitors' faces. Mark Donohue became the top driver for it.
The 917/10 sported a stiffer chassis, new gearbox, better cooling, and huge brakes. Donohue and Porsche developed the body to where
it created tremendous downforce at speed, to where the car stuck like glue no matter how fast you went.
The 917/10 blew McLaren and everyone else away in 1972.
For 1973, the 917 came out of the garagewith a new 5.4 Liter
turbocharged powerplant, which at mild boost developed 1,100 bhp, and at full boost sprung 1,560 bhp, it was now called the 917/30.
The 917 was in fact virtually unbeatable, anywhere, at anytime in the world. It becam so unfair, such an all-out rout on the track,
that the 917 was banned for competition in 1974. The "authorities" re-wrote the rule books to effectively bar
turbochargers completely from yet another series. With the 917 having no where else it could race, it retired.