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Worlds Fastest Cars
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It is perhaps the most powerful racing car to attack a road
course; the most powerful racing car designed to travel more than a 1/4-mile at
a time: the Porsche 917/30.
Its all-conquering twin-turbo flat-12 engine produced a reliable 1,100 bhp at
7,800 rpm and 19 psi of boost. For short bursts, the pilot could command a
staggering 1,500 Bhp by turning up the boost to a piston-melting 32 psi with the
twist of a knob. Accompanying all this power is the handling of an F1 car!
When the FIA put an end to the 917 sports car it didn't come as any great defeat
to Porsche. The company from Stuttgart was already eyeing the Can-Am series and
the SCCA was ready to welcome them with open arms. Though a 16-cylinder engine
was considered for use in Can-Am, it was eventually decided to turbo-charge the
existing 12-cylinder motor that had already brought so much success.
Roger Penske and Mark Donohue were awarded the honour of representing Porsche in
the Can-Am. Having earned a Can-Am Title in 1972 with the 917/10, development of
the 917/30 became highest priority. Donohue and Penske spent countless hours
putting miles on 917/30-001; an adjustable wheelbase test mule.
Development of the 917/30 resulted in a 7.5 inch longer wheelbase than the
917/10. The engine displacement was increased from 5.0- to 5.4-liters, boosting
power to over 1100bhp and a staggering 820lb-ft of torque! But the 917/30 was
hardly a "slippery" aerodynamic shape and the extra power didn't actually result
in greater speed. Content to run less Downforce, Donohue convinced Porsche to
endow the new car with the long Le Mans tail, finally allowing it to reach a top
speed of 240mph.
Factory computed performance figures suggest that the 917/30 would rocket from a
standstill to 60mph in 2.1 neck-snapping seconds, and 100mph came only 1.8
seconds later! From the moment the 917/30 Works Prototype was born to the time
Porsche repeated as Can-Am Champion, few would deny that Donohue had an unfair
||5.4l V12 TwinTurbo
1,100 bhp at 7,800 rpm,19 psi of boost
1,500 bhp at 7,800 rpm,32 psi of boost