Porsche 917 / 30 'Turbo Panzer'

Porsche 917 / 30 'Turbo Panzer'

Postby wixwacing » Wed 22 Sep, 2010 1:22 am

Carrera 917/30 - Turbo Panzer

By Kenneth

Before we get to the slot car, one of the more memorable cars from the 1973 Can-Am series was Mark Donohue’s Sunoco 917/30 Championship winner, an evolution of the 917/10 with a longer more aerodynamic body, boasting a 5.4 litre turbo charged V12 that produced 1100 bhp in race trim, which was a formidable opponent to all in the series. The 917/30 had the largest tyres of any race car at the time at 19 inches wide. 0-60 mph in 1.9 seconds, 0-100 mph in 3.9 seconds, 0-200 mph in 10.9 seconds, and a top speed of 257 mph. They don’t make `em like this anymore!!

Donohue put it "If you can make black marks on a straight from the time you turn out of a corner until the braking point of the next turn, then you have enough horsepower."

Porsche 917/30

Check out the other videos as well - awesome. Some great DVDs covering Can -Am have been released in the last couple of years, namely Can-Am, the Speed Odyssey & Can-Am Thunder.

Now onto Carrera’s version of this Championship winning vehicle. An eagerly awaited vehicle along with the M20. Finally some fine scale Can-Am racing can take place. The look of the new car is fantastic in it’s 1973 Championship winning Sunoco Mark Donohue livery. The gloss on the Carrera cars seems to have been improved, the tampo is nice and crisp and it’s nice to be able to read the drivers name on the cockpit without being really up close to it. The weird thing is the drivers tray, the half driver with the weird painted legs isn’t that great, but when it’s moving it’s not a big thing. Overall, the car is stunning. A very faithful reproduction. I am not as pedantic as some on really fine details, but I think most racers will be happy with this car unless your a downright anorak!!


Right now I have tested this car straight out of the box with no mods but I will note the differences, when done, that resulted in lower lap times. This review will cover both 917/30’s, the Sunoco car and the CAM2 DIGITAL one as well, having had the CAM2 car delivered to me this week by a friend. It came from a local source, not only that, I found at that two local hobby stores have them in stock now, which is nice.

If you are not familiar with my track, it is a small technical 4 lane board layout (see features-Jordan’s track), and if you have raced here this might be as much as surprise as it was to me. The cars are the usual Carrera two magnet setup chassis running a Mabuchi 18k can motor. The digital car has the red lights in the exhaust where as the analogue doesn’t. Also, the digital car comes with a spare Ninco style guide just like the M20, the biggest noticeable thing on these cars is the rear tyres at 16 mm wide ….. they’re big! but not flat. After 250 laps of testing both cars, here are the findings.

The cars were used with a standard Parma economy 45 ohm controller. The track was running at 12v with a 5 year old doing laps while I tested, certainly put a real race situation slant on the testing.!! The axles were oiled & gears lubricated. The first 10 laps or so the cars were doing high 6.5 secs on the track, a fast lap on yellow lane by the more gifted drivers in our group will hit under 4.5. The car was relatively smooth but grip wasn’t there, so off to sand the tyres and rub a bit of oil into them! Once cleaned lap times dropped to high 6.2s. Then some more sanding. Now the compound on these tyres isn’t that bad once sanded and treated, but boy they took some sanding to get flat. The type of sanding you start thinking, I wish I had a tyre truer!! These really did require heaps of sanding to get 100% of the rubber onto the track. They seemed higher on the outer edge and at one point, after being a bit disappointed by the lap times, I looked at the tyres more closely and saw only 50% of each tyre was actually on the track! More sanding, more oil. As one car was waiting for the oil to soak into the tyres , the other one was being run. As the tyres got flatter and the oil soaked into the tyre the better performance was. You could feel the car become more stable and planted, and confidence grew in ‘in corner’ speed, especially in turn one.


The times started to tumble after about 165 laps to 5.440, then to 5.232, 5.121, 5.035 - then it all sort of plateau’d with consistent laps around 5.1, 5.2. It was then that I removed the tyres and there was a bit of a moulding ridge on the centre of the hub. This was sanded down, tyres put back on and sanded again, some more oil, a clean with shellite and off again.

Down to 4.990, 4.936 then the fastest lap was done with the CAM2 digital car of 4.773. Up until lap 250 both cars lapped consistently at 4.9 to 5.1, usually time was lost sliding around on the twisty bits, or trying to get around a 5 year old driving an SCX tuner car with a glowing chassis.

The digital car weighs 4 grams more that the analogue car, and maybe that’s what gave it the fastest lap of the test. When pushing it really hard there tended to be a under-steer deslot. One thing I will give these cars is the stable feel, and confidence to push the car. There was no nervousness on the outer limits when pushed, after the initial 250 laps, I tried it with a 35 Ohm controller and a PM variable controller. There was some shudder under acceleration with a lower ohm controller. It tended to like less brakes as well. Overall, the smoother you drove it, the faster it got.

Some comparison laps were done with other Can-Am cars that this will race against in clubs. Over 25 laps on the same lane.

Carrera McLaren M20 - Alloy wheels, MJK tyres, weighted with lead to 118grms - fastest lap 4.926

MG Vanquish Shadow - NC5 motor, MJK tyres, new rear axle, SCX pro crown gear, weighted 120grms - fastest lap - 5.175

Some tech stuff - not a lot as the car was not pulled apart.

Sunoco Analog 917/30			 98grms 
CAM2 Digital 102grms.
Rear tyre 21x16mm .
Overall width 67.55mm
Overall length 145.5mm

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