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1980 Porsche Indy Car ::

It was to have been Porsche's triumphant return to open wheel motor racing. Throughout the winter of 1978-1979, Porsche discussions about Indy became increasingly focused and by late summer 1979 an agreement had been reached for Porsche to enter Indy in 1980 with Interscope as its team of choice.

The engine used for this effort was a direct descendent of the 2.65 liter engine used in the 935/75 (and later used in the all-conquering 956). Producing more than 800 horsepower, the new Porsche was apparently more than the equal of the Cosworth's that were dominant at the time. In fact, A.J. Foyt and others were so concerned they began lobbying heavily to have the allowable boost for the Porsche reduced from 54 to 48 inches.

USAC, embroiled in the politically intense split with CART, was not eager to lose their only remaining 'star' and finally succumbed to the pressure. In late March, they issued a technical bulletin breaking their previous agreement and limiting the Porsche powerplant to 48 inches of boost. With less than a month remaining before the start of practice for the 500, Porsche's response was quick. In a terse, one page press release, the company announced that it was canceling its Indy program.

Alas, outside of Porsche's engineers, Ongais and the Interscope team, no one (except, perhaps, for the rumored spies from the Penske and other teams) had ever seen the Porsche on the track where it was said to have been spectacular - breaking numerous track records including the Ontario Motor Speedway (a near duplicate of Indiannapolis).

The Porsche Indy is now undergoing a 100 point restoration at Gunnar racing and in 2002 will finally be allowed to run before the motorsports public.

View 1979 Autoweek Article >>>
View September 2002 Porsche Panorama Article >>>

Technical Specifications:

Chassis: Aluminum monocoque.

Engine: 2.65 litre, air cooled cylinders and water cooled heads, six cylinder boxer. Four valves per cylinder. Over 800 bhp.

Transmission: 4 speeds plus reverse. Straight-cut non-synchronized gears.

Brakes: Vented dual circuit discs with dual calipers.

Performance: Top Speed - over 240 miles per hour.


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