Following the runaway success of the 917 in the 1970 and 1971 World Sportscar Championships, Porsche takes on a new challenge: the motorsport department develops an open-top version of the 917 – the 917/10 – for the Can-Am series in the US and Canada. Porsche pioneers the development of race engines with exhaust gas turbochargers in response to the high-volume V8 engines of its US competitors, long before turbocharger technology appears in Formula One in 1977. Fitted with a turbo engine delivering 1,000 PS, the 917/10 starts its first race on 11 June 1972 at the Mosport Park circuit in Canada. On 9 July ((8 July according to Näher’s book and other documents)) the car takes its first victory at the Road Atlanta circuit. With its 5-litre turbo engine, the Porsche 917/10 beats its US competitors to victory in six races out of nine during the 1972 season. Porsche defends its world title superbly in the following year too, with the 917/10 and its successor 917/30, the latter of which is equipped with a turbo engine featuring a larger 5.4-litre displacement and delivering 1,150 PS. The 917/10 also competes in the European Interserie racing series in 1972 and 1973, winning the championship in both years with Finnish driver Leo Kinnunen. On 13 July 1972, the vehicle with chassis number 917/10-005 is delivered to the Penske racing team without a chassis, engine or body – only a frame with the full electrical kit and fire extinguishing system.
Engine: 12-cylinder V 180˚ twin turbo
Displacement: 5,374 ccm
Output: 846 kW (1,150 PS)
Weight: 837 kg
Top speed: 360 km/h