This painting depicts the 2nd placed 917K at Le Mans 1971 during refuelling and changeover. Richard Attwood and Herbert Muller are the drivers, Attwood having won the race with Hans Herrmann in 1970. Ferdinand Piëch initiated the design of the 917 to contest the FIA’s new group 4 rules limiting engine capacity to 5 liters in 1967. Twenty-five would have to be built and Porsche’s production line was used for these in March and April of 1969. Engine capacity was increased from 4.5 liters in 1968 to 4.9, then 5 liters in 1970, bringing power up from 580 to 630 bhp.
The 917’s body was developed by Enlgishman John Horsman and the John Wyer engineers after initial high-speed stability problems. The tail was cut off, increasing downforce at the expense of a little top speed, and so made the 917 almost unbeatable until new regulations made it no longer eligible by 1972.
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