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Gallery: 1972 CanAm champion Porsche 917/10

Submitted by on March 3, 2014

Porsche_917-10-005The tale of an unforgettable Can Am champion.

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.Porsche_917-10-014The driver was George Follmer, stand-in replacement for the injured Mark Donohue, competing under the L&M colors for Penske Racing.Porsche_917-10-019It was a complex bit of gear – pressurized tube work, all aluminum construction and of course the maniac flat-12 engine.Porsche_917-10-035With the body fitted the car became considerably larger than it’s space frame structure would suggest, as these stunning photographs from Speedhunters demonstrate.    Porsche_917-10-011With 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.Porsche_917-10-009It 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. Porsche_917-10-023In 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.

Porsche_917-10-013The car was an instant success, winning the Can Am season with ease – an achievement not to be taken lightly when the strength of McLaren during that era is considered. Porsche_917-10-012

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