The Porsche 917 Book: Facts and Anecdotes about the Porsche 917-023
Ever since it was founded in 1948, Porsche has wanted to be the top sports car manufacturer. Ultimately, this could only be achieved through victories in racing. The highest honor in sports car racing was awarded at the 24 Hours of Le Mans … and in the 1960s was seemingly unattainably claimed by Ferrarri and Ford, who fought an unparalleled battle of materials. When a rule change in the sports car championship also allowed small series of racing cars, Porsche development boss Ferdinand Piech took the biggest risk of his life with the Porsche 917: he designed a monster of engine power, took one of the biggest financial risks in the company’s history … and brought out the Porsche 917. and with the Porsche 917 brought the longed-for breakthrough to the top of the sports car manufacturers. On June 14, 1970, a race car from Zuffenhausen won the longed-for Le Mans overall victory for the first time. Endurance specialist Hans Herrmann crossed the finish line after 24 hours and 4,607.81 kilometers in the 917 hatchback with car number 23.
“…the biggest risk of my life…” (Ferdinand Piëch)
This victory marked the breakthrough for Porsche. True, the car was not one of the favorites, and the Porsche 917 was more of an extra alongside the overpowering production sports cars. Nor did the drivers Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood draw attention to themselves in advance with record laps and best times. But with clever tactics and careful driving in dramatically bad weather conditions, they took overall victory with the Porsche 917. Thus, this race car became the most glorious Porsche of all time.