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2019 Paris Blue 720S
2019 720S
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Let's call this "McLaren 720S takes on the big boys". I'm a lifelong car guy who is old enough to have spectated at darn near every CanAm race on the West Coast in the 60s and 70s. I still miss those unlimited, run-what-ya-brung, mega-hp monsters, it was just terrific ground-shaking racing. I was re-reading my copy of CanAm by Pete Lyons and came across a column that mentioned a road test Car & Driver did back in the day of the Lola T163. It weighed 1900 lbs and the engine was rated at 870 hp. It's a whopping 0.2 sec quicker in the quarter mile than the 720S, probably as much a testament to traction control, DCT, and tire technology as anything else, but still, pretty spectacular performance for a stock street legal sports car. (pics are mine from early 70s at Laguna) And yes of course the CanAm car would be waaay quicker on any road circuit.
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and tire
 

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And yes of course the CanAm car would be waaay quicker on any road circuit.
I wouldn't assume that. They may have more aero (and drag), but suspension, brakes, engines, and transaxles have also come a long way. It'd be interesting to see.
 

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Not sure a CanAm car would be really faster than a 720s ... it would be interesting ... I know Mercedes once tested a 1970 300SEL 6.3 (big Sedan) vs a formula 1 which was about 20 years older ... the sedan won by a mile even if the F1 was on paper very powerful
 
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For what its worth the Porsche 917/10 CanAM (probably the fastest CanAm car ever besides the 917/30) has a lap record of 7:36 on the Nordschleife (in 1972) and that was in qualifying mode ( at least 1000 hp if not 1200) ...

expect a pro driver to do that in 6:50-7:00 on a track pack 720s ...

however the track has partly changed in some sections to maybe give the 917/10 a 25-30 seconds disadvantage (track is now about 2km shorter from 22,8 to 20,8km )
 
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For what its worth the Porsche 917/10 CanAM (probably the fastest CanAm car ever besides the 917/30) has a lap record of 7:36 on the Nordschleife (in 1972) and that was in qualifying mode ( at least 1000 hp if not 1200) ...

expect a pro driver to do that in 6:50-7:00 on a track pack 720s ...

however the track has partly changed in some sections to maybe give the 917/10 a 25-30 seconds disadvantage (track is now about 2km shorter from 22,8 to 20,8km )
Tire tech has changed a LOT since 1972. Would be interesting to see for sure.
 

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2020 720 Spider
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Those Can Am cars were incredible...it took a lot of stones to go all out in one of those.

Certainly a lot has changed since then...however tire technology is likely the biggest difference. I remember some years back when F1 went from one tire supplier to multiple...they were over 4 seconds a lap faster from the end of the season to winter testing. Tires matter a lot!! So give the Can Am modern slicks and I’m sure that would improve its times tremendously.

Either way...they were cool cars...then again...so is the 720s!
 

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Those Can Am cars were incredible...it took a lot of stones to go all out in one of those.

Certainly a lot has changed since then...however tire technology is likely the biggest difference. I remember some years back when F1 went from one tire supplier to multiple...they were over 4 seconds a lap faster from the end of the season to winter testing. Tires matter a lot!! So give the Can Am modern slicks and I’m sure that would improve its times tremendously.

Either way...they were cool cars...then again...so is the 720s!
another vastly different point is of course that the 720s (still being a bit of an outlier with today’s supercars) is so well behaved, that most owners can let it drive their girlfriend/wife even if she had never driven a supercar before and she feels comfortable doing so - try that with a 2rs or SVJ ;) ... so it’s absolutely beginner friendly. A CanAm race car on the opposite of that spectrum is probably one of the most horrible monstrous and frightening things ever made to have 4 wheels for the driver - at least that is what a guy I know who races a 917/10 Till today on historical events told me when asked about the driving experiences ;)
 

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Weight distribution was interesting. I would have guessed it would be more even.
Well there is not really anything heavy infront of the drivers seats with the 720s ... engine, gearbox, most cooling etc is all in the tail section so I don’t think there is much possibility to have another weight distribution in static mode .... would be interesting how that changes when the car is moving and the aero effects start to show up
 

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FYI, the Porsche 917 Can-Am 5.4L H12 can produce 1580HP in qualifying tune
 

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FYI, the Porsche 917 Can-Am 5.4L H12 can produce 1580HP in qualifying tune
yes that’s the 917/30 engine - however according to Porsche it never ran on that power lvl outside or the engine testing facility ... the Race cars in Qualifying mode more likely did about 1200hp maybe a bit more ;-) (917/10 was weaker as they did not have the upgraded chargers of the 917/30)
 
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