For the 1998 Monterey Historics, the iconic Sunoco 917-30 was brought out of retirement and driven in a way that would’ve made Mark Donohue proud. Its 1,000 horsepower were sent through a spool, which made the handling a little less than sophisticated—but, fortunately for our entertainment, great to watch. This vulgar display of power can give those not fortunate enough to have seen the 917-30 in its heyday a sense of how they really performed.
Olaf Lang, a driver for Porsche in the 1980s, was the man behind the wheel of this car. His professional racing career didn’t seem to turn him into an efficient driver always searching for the fastest, least dramatic way through the corner. Instead, he indulges in some lurid slides which nearly end in tears (4:20). Fortunately, he quit while he was ahead.
True, the car has an excess of power and a deploys that thrust through a spool, so the handling is a little rougher, but it’s clear he was out there for fun. It’s written all over his face when he steps out of the cockpit.