Gallery: 1972 CanAm champion Porsche 917/10
In 1972 Porsche arrived on the Can Am scene with this 917/10, a turbocharged 12-cylinder monster packing considerably more horsepower than it did kilograms. It blitzed the season, ending McLaren’s half-decade domination.The driver was George Follmer, stand-in replacement for the injured Mark Donohue, competing under the L&M colors for Penske Racing.It was a complex bit of gear – pressurized tube work, all aluminum construction and of course the maniac flat-12 engine.With the body fitted the car became considerably larger than it’s space frame structure would suggest, as these stunning photographs from Speedhunters demonstrate. With 850hp and a weigh-in figure said to hover around 767kg the car was statistically equipped for victory over the McLarens, yet such numbers combined with massive rubber and lightswitch-like power delivery meant that race wins would not come easy for the drivers.It did however, feature some very neat aerodynamic designs aimed at keeping the car as stable as possible, which we’re sure the driver was very thankful for. In 1971 Porsche had competed with a 4.5L 180 degree V12, however for 1971 an extremely high-tech (for the time) flat-12 twin turbo engine was developed.