Friday, August 21, 2009

Porsche 917: A Racing Legend

Here's a shot of one of the all-time racing greats: the Porsche 917. This is the short tail version, first produced in 1969, with in this case the full 5 litre engine, up from the 4.5 litre of the initial production.

Ultimately, the 917 was good for over 230 mph, and a 0-60 time of a quite remarkable 2.7 seconds. According to those who campaigned it, including names such as Brian Redman, Mark Donohue and Derek Bell, it was a real pig to drive, being both very fast and very unstable, all at the same time. In race trim it ended up producing north of 1,100 bhp while in qualifying trim, with boost would up to maximum (a quite astonishing 39 psi), it was reputed to put out around 1,500 bhp.

The Porsche 917 and its derivatives dominated GT racing for many years, scoring maiden Le Mans wins for Porsche in 1970, and again in 1971. Steve McQueen also drove one in the Le Mans film in 1971.

This is a quite astonishing car, and it was a rare and special treat to see multiple instances of this thing going round one of the world's prettiest race circuits. Quite a day!

No comments: