Sunday, November 7, 2010

A 10 Minute History of the Porsche 917

I've hit a bit of a slump with content and seem to continually fuel things with Porsche content. Unfortunately, I don't seem to be letting up as I found this clip about the Porsche 917. I've loved this car since I first saw it and not surprisingly due to the McQueen movie Le Mans. While 10 minutes may seem like not much time to cover the prolific history of the 917 - the hosts manage to quite a lot with little time.

The clip covers the development of the 917K and 917LH a bit but has wonderful insight from 917 drivers Brian Redman and Richard Attwood. What's especially interesting is to listen to Attwood's account of the 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans and how he and the team made the conscious decision to stick with the smaller 4.5 liter flat-12 engine over the larger, more powerful 4.9 liter flat-12. In the end, the tortoise beat the hare as the smaller displacement 917K of Hermann and Attwood was reliable enough to go the distance and take the overall win at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

The clip also goes into detail about Porsche's move into Can Am to steal the show from the dominant McLaren's with a turbocharged 917/10 putting out a frightening almost 1,000HP. Additionally, a bit of insight is given to Porsche's test of the 917/30 at Talladega with Mark Donohue behind the wheel to set the FIA record for average closed circuit speed record of about 221 mph. Sadly, Donohue, a very accomplished racer, would be killed a few days later in what was initially thought to be a minor injury in at Austrian Grand Prix.

Hope you enjoy it! Shame that outrageous cars like this are no longer fit to race - no modern racers seem to come close to the brutal, relentless 917.

Porsche 917 from Mee on Vimeo.

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