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Workshop du Porsche Museum: Porsche 917, 908/2 et 909 Bergspyder

2019, Porsche fête les 5O ans de la Porsche 917 et prépare actuellement une exposition qui aura lieu au musée du 14 mai au 15 septembre 2019. Nous avons pu, lors de notre dernière visite au musée, assister à l’entretien de plusieurs 917 dans l’atelier. La Porsche 917KH N°21 châssis 015 des 24h du Mans …


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Madman Slides an Iconic 917-30 In Totally Awesome Vintage Footage

For the 1998 Monterey Historics, the iconic Sunoco 917-30 was brought out of retirement and driven in a way that would’ve made Mark Donohue proud. Its 1,000 horsepower were sent through a spool, which made the handling a little less than sophisticated—but, fortunately for our entertainment, great to watch. This vulgar display of power can give those not fortunate enough to have seen the 917-30 in its heyday a sense of how they really performed.

Olaf Lang, a driver for Porsche in the 1980s, was the man behind the wheel of this car. His professional racing career didn’t seem to turn him into an efficient driver always searching for the fastest, least dramatic way through the corner. Instead, he indulges in some lurid slides which nearly end in tears (4:20). Fortunately, he quit while he was ahead.

True, the car has an excess of power and a deploys that thrust through a spool, so the handling is a little rougher, but it’s clear he was out there for fun. It’s written all over his face when he steps out of the cockpit.


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Monstrous 917-30 Spits Flames


With that much power, turbo lag, and a manual gearbox, you have to wonder what went through the heads of the men who drove these vicious cars.

Built to dominate Can-Am racing in the early 1970s, the Porsche 917-30s wielded as much as 1,600 horsepower to mortify the men driving them and to leave an indelible mark on motorsport’s history. Few cars have the same aura surrounding them; the monstrous power, combined with the sub-standard safety measures of the day made them a real gladiator’s car that oozed danger. After all, the driver’s feet were positioned in front of the front wheels!

The unique bark of the flat-twelve only adds to the aura surrounding the 917-30; hearing the 5.4-liter engine idle is enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand erect. With fireballs regularly licking at the exhaust tips, the ever-present and ominous whistle of the turbochargers, and that frightening bark, we can better understand how these monsters struck such a chord with racing enthusiasts as well as the courageous souls who drove them.


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Porsche 919 Evo vs Porsche 917/30 : Rencontre de 2 400 ch

Lors de sa dernière apparition publique lors du 919 Tribute Tour, la Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo rencontre un homologue historique : la Porsche 917/30 de 1973. Les deux voitures de course font partie du cercle des stars de la Porsche Rennsport Reunion VI – le plus grand rassemblement mondial de voitures de courses et de …


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Chris Harris Meets Norbert Singer and Tests a Le Mans-Winning 962

Decked out in the iconic Rothman’s livery, possessing 650 horsepower, and capable of 240 miles an hour, this gleaming Porsche 962 should give Chris Harris plenty of reason to grin. However, between sampling this Le Mans winner and talking to the man who helped create it, it’s not certain which Harris enjoys more. The affable, unassuming man sitting across from Harris is Norbert Singer, a motorsports genius who took some « large steps » toward developing downforce in the days when aerodynamics weren’t well understood.

The Product of Successful Experimentation

Singer was a critical element in the development of most major racing Porsches since the 917. But even compared to that incredible 917-30 and the outrageous power it possessed, the 962 stands above as it was a much more capable machine. In the early eighties, the understanding of downforce was limited, but a series of experiments conducted by Singer eventually led to the 962 producing twice the grip of the 917.

The sliding skirts which sealed the underbody of F1 cars in the early eighties weren’t applicable to the wider 962, and this drove Singer to try funneling air from the sides of the car into its venturi tunnels. Singer also experimented with a Gurney flap at the rear to learn that it had a positive influence on the front end! These discoveries revolutionized the downforce game in the eighties, and likely helped this Porsche enjoy the unrivaled success it had.

The Complete Package

Beyond producing power and grip, Porsche and Singer were obsessed with reliability. First, they sought to make the engine, stretched to a full 3.0-liter, run 24-hours without blowing. Then, making the syncro-mesh gearbox withstand the abuse of running at top-speed, for extended periods of time, in one gear, was another hurdle they had to cross. Yet, they made the gearbox withstand that relentless wave of torque that carried names like Stuck and Bell all the way to an 8,000-rpm redline for a complete day. 

To help harness that torque, they used a spool instead of a limited-slip differential, and yet, the Porsche doesn’t exhibit lots of understeer. Of course, tire technology of the time limited the amount of rear traction, and since going fast on the straights was the priority here, they aimed for maximizing corner-exit speeds. Compared to its rivals, the 962 possessed perhaps the best compromise of abilities for endurance racing.

While it wasn’t always the fastest car throughout its extended career, it could compensate with its breadth of ability. Not only was the 962 quick, it had the robustness to carry it the distance, a surprisingly friendly character, and a soundtrack to die for. Underneath all the popping and chirping and the baritone bellow of the flat-six, you can hear Harris giggling.

Perhaps the innovations associated with this 962 is what makes it shine, or perhaps it’s the turn-key usability. Maybe its those enviable good looks. Whatever the reason, it seems to have left all of those associated with it completely smitten.


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