The Porsche 917, a victorious car that pushed back the limits!
In 1970 and 1971, the 917 became the first Porsche to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans outright. Like the Lotus 72 in Formula 1 and the Lancia Stratos in rallies, it scored victories galore at the start of the 1970s.
After some stunning performances in 1969 the 917 dominated the 1970 and 1971 World Championship for Makes, in particular in the sky blue and orange Gulf livery of the eponymous petrol company.
On 17th May 1970, at the start of the 1000 km of Spa, the two cars run by the Gulf team driven by Pedro Rodriguez (pole) and Jo Siffert roared up the Raidillon rubbing door handles – on a wet track! The Siffert-Brian Redman 917 won. In 1971, it was Rodriguez’s turn associated with Jackie Oliver at an average speed of 249 km/h!
In 1971, the 917 set new records for pole position, distance and top speed at Le Mans that stood for several decades. Its ultimate iteration, the 917/30 seen in the North-American CanAm Championship in 1973, pushed out over 1000 bhp thanks to the addition of a turbocharger to its 5-litre engine.
The 917 is one of the emblematic cars of the film Le Mans shot during the 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was produced by Steve McQueen who also played the leading role.