Under the skin of Porsche's game-changer

Under the skin of Porsche's game-changer

Porsche's 917 changed the face of motorsport, but when it first emerged its wild handling left its drivers extremely wary. This is the story of how it was developed to become a legendary world-beater

When the Porsche 917 hit the track for the first time 50 years ago, there was something gravely amiss. The handling (or lack thereof) was a colossal problem for the first generation of the 917, and Porsche took time to get to the bottom of the problem.

Arguably, the development paths Porsche took throughout 1969 were a case of barking up the wrong tree; initially, the engineers surmised there was too much chassis flex, and the car couldn't cope with the weighty 4.5-litre flat-12 engine mounted in the back.

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