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1973 Can-Am Challenge

Championship:
Can-Am Challenge
Series:
Year:
1973
Champion:
Other years:
Other 1973 championships:
Description

From the Motor Sport Archive
In 1973, for the second year in a row, Porsche dominated the Canadian-American Challenge Cup Series for sports cars with a sweep reminiscent of the great days of Team McLaren. Porsches won eight out of eight races while the works Roger Penske/Sunoco entry of Mark Donohue won six of them and was fastest qualifier by a considerable margin for all eight races. In the two races which Donohue didn't win, he was placed seventh in one after a shunt with a slower car and second after a leaking fuel filler cap forced a pit stop. Never before had any driver started and been running at the finish of every race of the season, a credit to the preparation of the Penske machine.

In fact, there were two Penske machines, matching 5.4-litre turbocharged 917/30 Porsches for Donohue, the latest long wheelbase, long body works model, developed by Porsche and Penske Racing from the previous all-conquering 917/10. Donohue's regular race car was subtly tweaked throughout the year while the spare remained in reserve and rarely left the transporter. The only time the spare car actually raced was at Watkins Glen when a hemispherical suspension joint failure caused Donohue to crash in practice and the spare car rolled off the transporter, secured the pole position within minutes and saved the weekend by winning the race in Penske/Donohue style, from start to finish.