• Take A Ride in the Insanely Fast Porsche 917K at Laguna Seca

Watch the legendary Porsche 917K lap Laguna Seca at full blast

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Porsche has built some of the world’s finest sports cars and continues to do so, but the company’s lineup of race-spec vehicles is even more impressive. The German carmaker has dominated the racing scene for many decades with race cars like the 917, 935, 936, and 956, winning hundreds of races and championships with them.

All these race cars are impressive in their own right, but the 917 holds a special place among them. Not only it was the most extreme race car of its era, but also because it was the first Porsche to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Most of us won’t get to see a 917 in the flesh, but this ride-along video from Canepa Motorsport will give you a taste of the car’s outstanding track capability.

The footage was shot at the latest Rennsport Reunion at Laguna Seca. The event is a gathering of Porsche cars and Porsche drivers and it usually features a massive amount of classic vehicles. This year’s event featured a 917K that was first raced in 1969, the year when Porsche’s Le Mans-winning car made its debut on the race track.

Chassis number 015, this specific 917K, which has been restored from the ground up, ran a few quick laps around the Laguna Seca track. It’s being driven by Bruce Canepa and features a ride-along camera for a fantastic POV view. You can also hear the high-revving flat-12 engine roar through the corners and on the straights.

The Porsche 917

1969 - 1971 Porsche 917K High Resolution Exterior
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Developed specifically for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where Porsche had yet to score an outright win, the 917 was created in just 10 months starting July 1968. The first cars were finished in 1969 and a 917 was displayed at the Geneva Motor Show. Porsche eventually built 25, as required by the FIA to enter Le Mans.

Powered by a 4.5-liter flat-12 engine, the 917K achieved its goal and won the 24 Hours of Le Mans outright in 1970. Porsche returned to score yet another win in 1971. Although the 917 didn’t manage a third win at Circuit de la Sarthe, it became successful in other competitions. Porsche developed a long list of versions, including the longer L and LH models, an Interserie spyder, and turbocharged models for the Can-Am series. The final iteration of the 917, the 1973 917/30, dominated the Can-Am series and is the only championship winning car not to be powered by Chevrolet.

Porsche 917 specifications
Configuration 912.10 180º V12
Displacement 4,907 cc / 299.4 cu in
Bore / Stroke 86.0 mm (3.4 in) / 70.4 mm (2.8 in)
Compression 10.5:1
Power 600 HP @ 8,300 RPM
Torque 415 LB-FT @ 6,400 RPM
Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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