Posts tagged racing

2013 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona 

2013 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona 


Lancia did extensive testing with the Stratos and raced the car in several racing events where Group 5 prototypes were allowed during the 1972 and 1973 seasons. Production of the 500 cars required for homologation in Group 4 commenced in 1973 and the Stratos was homologated in time for the 1974 WRC. The Ferrari Dino V6 engine was phased out in 1974, but 500 engines were delivered to Lancia. Production ended in 1975, at which time only 492 were possibly completed (for 1976 season, the Group 4 production requirement was reduced to 400 in 24 months). The responsible manufacturer of the car was Bertone, in Turin, with final assembly completed by Lancia at the Chivasso plant. 

Powered by the Dino 2.4 L V6 engine that was also fitted to the rallying versions, but in a lower state of tune, it resulted in a power output of 190 bhp (142 kW; 193 PS), giving the road car a 0-60 mph time of just under five seconds, and a top speed of 144 mph (232 km/h). The car was sold as the Lancia Stratos Stradale.

For racing, the engine was tuned up to 280 hp (209 kW) and even to 560 hp (418 kW) with a single KKK turbocharger. However, turbocharged versions were only allowed to compete in Group 5 and were never as reliable as their naturally aspirated counterparts.

The car won the WRC titles in 1974-76 in the hands of Sandro Munari and Björn Waldegård, and might have gone on to win more had not internal politics within the Fiat group placed rallying responsibility on the Fiat 131 Abarths.

Without support from Fiat, and despite new regulations that restricted engine power, the car would remain a serious competitor and proved able to beat works cars in several occasions when entered by an experienced private team with a talented driver. The final chapter of the Stratos’ racing career at international level took place as late as 1981, at the Tour de Corse Automobile, another World Rally Championship event, with a victory by longtime Stratos privateer Bernard Darniche.

The World’s Fastest Lotus?

Frank Profera has spent six years making his Lotus go faster, stop shorter, and corner harder. Though it only has to move around 2,150 lbs, Frank’s Lotus makes 680 wheel horsepower with a twin-charged 1.8L engine; giving it a better power-to-weight ratio than Mario Andretti’s Formula One Lotus. It’s an ongoing project that may never be finished, because of Frank’s never-ending obsession with speed.


The Porsche 917/30 is Literally Insane

1967.36 bhp/tonne in qualifying tune

After their successes with the 917 mainly in Europe, Porsche instead decided to focus on the North American markets and the Can-Am Challenge. For that series, larger and more powerful engines were needed. A 16-cylinder with about 750 hp (560 kW) was tested, but a turbocharged 12-cylinder had initially the same power, with more to come was used. The 917 chassis also had to be lengthened to accept the longer 16 cylinder engine, and drivers complained that this longer chassis did not handle as well.

The turbocharged 850 hp (630 kW) 917/10 entered by Penske Racing won the 1972 series with George Follmer, after a testing accident sidelined primary driver Mark Donohue. This broke the five-year stranglehold McLaren had on the series. The further evolution of the 917, the 917/30 with revised aerodynamics, a longer wheelbase and an even stronger 5.4 litre engine with up to 1,580 horsepower (1,180 kW) won the 1973 edition winning all races but one with Mark Donohue driving. Most of the opposition was made of private 917/10 as McLaren, unable to compete against the 917 turbos, had already left the series to concentrate on the Indy 500 and F1.

The 917’s domination, the oil crisis, and fiery tragedies like Roger Williamson’s in Zandvoort pushed the SCCA to introduce a 3 miles per US gallon maximum fuel consumption rule for 1974. Due to this change, the Penske 917/30 competed in only one race in 1974, and some customers retrofitted their 917/10 with naturally aspirated engines.

The 917/30 was the most powerful sports car racer ever built and raced. The 5.374 litre 12 cylinder (90.0 x 70.4 mm) twin-turbocharged engine could produce 1,580 bhp (1,180 kW) in qualifying tune, with twin turbochargers run up to full boost, 39 psi (2.7 bar), though it usually raced with around 1,100 bhp (820 kW) at 7,800 rpm to preserve the engine. Weighing 1,800 lb (820 kg), giving it a power to weight of 1967.36 bhp/tonne in qualifying tune and 1369.68 bhp/tonne in race tune. The 917/30 dominated the Can-Am series during the 1973 season. The 917/30 could go from 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 1.9 seconds, 0-100 mph (160 km/h) in 3.9 seconds, 0-200 mph (320 km/h) in 10.9 seconds, and on to a top speed of more than 260 mph (420 km/h). The high-level of performance and attendant fuel consumption of the engines, and ever increasing risk, has led to the 917/30 sometimes being cited as the car that killed Can-Am racing.

Video: 917/30 at Goodwood 2011


1959 Lister Jaguar Costin Roadster