The Porsche 917 is a race car that gave Porsche its first overall wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1970 and 1971. Powered by the Type 912 flat-12 engine of 4.5, 4.9, or 5 litres, the 917/30 Can Am variant was capable of a 0-60 M.P.H. time of 2.3 seconds, 0–125 mph in 5.3 seconds, and a top speed of up to 240 M.P.H.. This is not, however, representative of the majority of 917s. The highest official speed ever clocked for a 917 at Le Mans is 225 M.P.H..
There are at least eleven variants of the 917. The original version had a removable long tail/medium tail with active rear wing flaps, but had considerable handling problems at high speed because of significant rear lift. The handling problems were investigated at a joint test at the Österreichring by the factory engineers and their new race team partners John Wyer Engineering and after exhaustive experimentation by both groups, a shorter, more upswept tail was found to give the car more aerodynamic stability at speed.
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