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March 18: Champion racer Mark Donohue was born on this date in 1937

March 18, 2013

Mark Donohue wasn't just a talented driver who mastered some of the most powerful vehicles to ever take a race track. He was also a talented mechanical engineer, who could use his experience to tweak and tune every car he raced for maximum performance. Donohue played a key role in designing the Porsche 917-30, the "Can-Am Killer," which had a maximum output of 1,500 hp. "My definition of too much horsepower," Donohue was famous for saying, "is when all four wheels are spinning in every gear." In his career, Donohue won the Indy 500 and the Trans-Am championship, but he raced in everything from hillclimbs to Le Mans and Formula 1 — where he lost his life following a crash in Austria in 1975. In the video below, Donohue and his long-time boss Roger Penske prepare for the 1970 Trans-Am series in the new AMC Javelin, a car Donohue would drive to victory: