The Porsche 917

TGR Staff

The 917  is responsible for giving Porsche its first overall wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans back to back in 1970 and 1971. Powered by a flat-12 engine of originally 4.5 liters and growing to 5 liters, the 917/30 variant was capable of a 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time of 2.3 seconds and a top speed of over 240 mph (390 km/h).

The original version had considerable handling problems at high speed because of poor aerodynamics. The legendary Weyer-Gulf Oil racing team developing the short tail 917, fixing the aerodynamic and handling problems. Porsche adopted these changes into the 917K, which dominated in the 1970 and 1971 World Sportscar Championships. In 1971, a variant of the 917K appeared with an altered tail and shark fins, which together reduced drag and maintained downforce. The 917 was so good that privateers kept it racing competitively until 1981, the final race professional race was the 1981 6 hours of Brands Hatch, where The Kremer Racing team 917 K-81 took the lead, only to retire for winning with suspension issues.