The 917/30 Can-Am Spyder, the perfect race car

February 24, 2023
12:15 pm

The dominating 917/30 Can-Am Spyder was the Porsche 917’s final generation. This car was designed to compete in the North American Can-Am Challenge, which permitted both turbocharging and supercharging as well as unlimited engine capacity. almost limitless aerodynamics. As long as the cars had covered wheels, and two seats, and complied with safety regulations, this racing series was as close to an unrestricted racing series as possible.

It was up to the Porsche engineers to rise to the challenge and build a monster. Engineers first tested a 16-cylinder naturally aspirated engine that was truly unrestricted, but because a longer wheelbase was required to house this engine, Penske Racing submitted a turbocharged 850 HP 917/10k version vehicle that was used in the 1972 series. The five-year winning streak McLaren had in the series was ended by this car. The 917/30 was eventually developed with updated aerodynamics, a wider wheelbase, and an updated 5.4-liter twin-turbocharged V12 that generates 1,100 HP but has a maximum output of 1,580 HP. The automobile managed a 0-60 time of just 2.1 seconds and a 0-200 duration of just 13.4 seconds despite only weighing 1,765 lbs. Check this out.

The 917/30 won all but two of the races in 1973. Private 917/10k vehicles are now predominant in the field of competition since McLaren withdrew from the series due to its inability to compete. However, this is not where the 917/30 comes to an end. Porsche and Penske would send the 917 out on a high note on August 9th, 1975. To set a new FIA record for the fastest lap on a closed course, the car was driven to Talladega Superspeedway. Until 1980, the vehicle generated an average speed of 221.16 MPH on the circuit.

Chassis number 4 of 6 made a stunning entrance at the 2020 Amelia Island Concours d’elegance. Displayed in its classic Sunoco racing livery, it won the judges’ and spectators’ hearts. The legend lives on. receiving the prestigious “best in show” prize as well as the Andial Trophy for the historically significant Porsche race honor. It was incredibly amazing to see this car in all its splendour and hear the engine roar to life as it reached the podium. I can only imagine how breathtaking it must have been to watch this car race in its heyday!


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